Christopher Bernard "Budda" Handy

  • 6Caps
  • 600Wallaby Number
  • 71Age
PositionTighthead Prop
Date Of Birth27 March 1950
Place Of BirthBrisbane
SchoolSt. Joseph's Christian Brother's College, Gregory Terrace
ProvinceQLD
Debut Test Match1978 Wallabies v New Zealand, 3rd Test Auckland
Final Test Match1980 Wallabies v New Zealand, 2nd Test Brisbane

Biography

Chris Handy, or ‘Buddha' as he affectionately became to be known, was far more than the gregarious television commentator of the 1990s. A squat and solid prop, Handy was a very courageous footballer. He was amazingly agile, deft with the ball in his hands and a tremendous team man. Handy said that he loved the contest, the competition, the physicality of the game, and happily accepted the pain of it. He believed that rugby and more pointedly the front‑row, epitomised contact sport given that there is no place where you meet your opponent more often or more physically than at scrum time.

Born in Brisbane, Handy was educated at Gregory Terrace where he played both halfback and No.8 in the 1st XV. In 1971 Handy’s transition to the front row was firm and irrevocable after Wallaby Shane Sullivan retired.

A year later Handy made his debut for Queensland against NSW Country at Ballymore. From that point on Handy was a near-permanent fixture in the teams that forged a renaissance of Queensland rugby from 1972 to 1980. A touch of good fortune fell Handy’s way in 1978 when the rugby hierarchy deemed it appropriate for legendary hardman Steve Finnane to miss the tour of New Zealand following the events of the 2nd Welsh Test in Sydney. Handy was one of just three front‑row forwards, alongside Stan Pilecki and John Meadows, picked for a most-demanding 13 match tour.

Australia lost the first two internationals, and an ugly clean sweep loomed large with Laurie Monaghan, Mark Loane, Paul McLean and Roger Gould all injured and after a near‑fatal heart attack suffered by coach Daryl Haberecht on the eve of the third Test. Handy was selected to make his Test debut at Eden Park and to that point he had been the tour’s lucky omen - Handy had played seven tour games and Australia had won them all. On the back of four tries by Greg Cornelsen and, in one of the great upsets of the all-time, Australia rolled the All Blacks 30-16. Handy was now eight from eight and he made it nine from nine a year later when the Wallabies won the Bledisloe Cup for the first time since 1949.

Chris Handy played six Tests for Australia in a three-year international career.

Highlights

1978

Handy won his first Test cap at prop alongside Peter Horton and John Meadows in the 3rd Test, 30-16 victory over New Zealand in Auckland.

1979

Handy picked up three caps, one in the 12-6 win over New Zealand in Sydney with Horton and Stan Pilecki and the final two in the away series against Argentina.

1980

He earned his final two caps in partnership with Bill Ross and Pilecki in the 1st and 2nd Tests against New Zealand.

Christopher Bernard "Budda" Handy