Bruce Robert Brown
- 552Wallaby Number
Bruce Brown was a rugged prop forward who graduated to international rugby at a time when Australian forward play was under intense scrutiny and there was considerable pressure on all players who filled a spot in the tight five.
Born and raised in Brisbane, Brown attended Brisbane Boys’ College and went on to play his club rugby with the University of Queensland.
His first taste of representative football came in 1965 when he debuted for Queensland at just 20 years of age against Nadi. Brown served an extended apprenticeship at provincial level before he finally won a spot on his first Wallaby tour, to France and Canada in 1971. On that tour he played three uncapped matches behind the Test pairing of Roy Prosser and David Dunworth.
In 1972 Dunworth was forced to withdraw from the tour to New Zealand after he was advised to have surgery on an injured knee. Brown was called into the squad as his replacement and vied with Jake Howard for the loosehead spot alongside Prosser. Following a poor loss to West Coast-Buller, Brown was selected for the next two matches to earn his Test debut in Wellington. Unfortunately the All Blacks were in complete control, they won more than 75% of possession, and that dominance was reflected on the scoreboard. As a result Howard was promoted to the Saturday side for the next three weeks but he fared no better in the second Test or against Waikato, so Brown was reinstated for what was to be his final Test at Eden Park.
Brown won his first Test cap at loose head prop alongside Mick Frenery and Roy Prosser in the 1st Test, 6-29 loss to New Zealand in Wellington. Jake Howard played in the 2nd Test before Brown was recalled for the 3rd Test, 3-28 defeat in Auckland.