Christopher Michael Carberry
- 563Wallaby Number
Chris Carberry was among the best hookers in Australia for a decade through to the early 1980s. A great technician, Mark Loane once called him the Professor of Scrummaging, Carberry was one of the first players to genuinely think about the scrum and its mechanics. He had a great rugby mind and was a fierce competitor. Born in Gundagai but educated at St Joseph’s College, Hunters Hill, Carberry graduated to the University of Sydney where he enrolled in the Faculty of Law. He soon made First Grade under coach Dave Brockhoff.
In 1972 Carberry gained his University Blue and debuted for New South Wales against Queensland. After Australia defeated Tonga 30-12 in the first Test in Sydney, Carberry was one of two changes for the second Test when called up to replace Mick Freney. The match became memorable for all the wrong reasons as Australia were sensationally beaten 11-16 in one of the great all-time Test upsets.
Carberry then went on the short tour to England and Wales and it was that experience, where the Wallabies were hopelessly out-scrummed, which made a big impression on him, particularly as it emphasised the importance of technique. Carberry then fought a battle with Peter Horton for New South Wales and Wallaby selection over the next six years. Horton kept Carberry out of the Australian team for ten consecutive Tests until Carberry was preferred against Ireland on the Sixth Wallabies tour of Britain in 1976. As it turned out, that was the only Home Nations international that the Wallabies won.
Carberry then lost five years of his career to a serious neck injury originally suffered when he was just 15.
In 1978 his comeback plans were shelved after a comparison series of X-rays covering more than a year showed a degeneration of the injury.
Carberry resigned himself to social football and, if at all, in the back row.
Remarkably Carberry returned in 1981 with the goal of selection for the Seventh Wallabies. He did just that and rounded out his international career with caps against all four Home Nations.
Chris Carberry played 13 Tests for Australia in a 10-year international career.
Carberry won his first Test cap at hooker alongside Ron Graham and Jake Howard in the 2nd Test, 11-16 loss to Tonga in Brisbane. He was picked for the short Wallaby tour of Wales and England and started the English Test with Stu Macdougall and Graham.
Carberry, Graham and John Meadows started in the 20-10 victory over Ireland at Lansdowne Road and the 24-12 win against the U.S.A. in Anaheim.
Carberry played in all three Tests of the home series against Fiji but lost out to Horton on the end-of-season tour to France.
Carberry returned to the Australian side for the two Test series against France.
Selected for the Seventh Wallabies tour to Britain, Carberry won his final four caps against Ireland, Scotland and England with Tony D’Arcy and John Meadows, and against Wales with Declan Curran and D’Arcy.