Daniel James Crowley
- 676Wallaby Number
Dan Crowley was an old fashioned, no-nonsense prop forward who confidently played on either side of the scrum. It was that versatility combined with a dose of hard-nosed perseverance that allowed him to build an international career that spanned more than a decade. Born and bred in Brisbane, but of U.K. stock, Crowley was educated at St Laurence’s College, the alma mater of fellow Wallaby front-row hardmen Neil ‘Tiny’ Betts, Nev Cottrell and Brendan Cannon. Crowley served his representative apprenticeship behind Andy McIntyre until 1987 when he made his debut for Queensland against Languedoc-Roussillon at Crosby Park. Two years later, and following an injury to rival Ewen McKenzie, Crowley was called up to make his Test debut against the British Lions in Sydney.
He played in each Test of that series and was subsequently selected for his first Wallaby tour - to Canada and France. However his fortune changed in 1990 when McKenzie debuted in the home series against France and went on to form one of the great Wallaby front rows alongside Tony Daly and Phil Kearns. While Crowley only earned a further four caps in the next three seasons he was a near permanent fixture within the squad given his ability to play both loose and tight head. He was duly selected to three Rugby World Cups and became one of only five Australians - alongside John Eales, Tim Horan, Jason Little and Phil Kearns - to be twice a World Champion. Elite company indeed. Crowley played 38 Tests for Australia in his 11-year international career.
Crowley won his first Test cap as the starting tighthead prop alongside Tom Lawton and Cameron Lillicrap in the 1st Test, 30-12 victory over the British Lions in Sydney. He held his spot for each of the final two Tests of the Lions’ series
Crowley was selected to his first Rugby World Cup and started at No.3 in partnership with Phil Kearns and Lillicrap in the 9-3 pool game win against Western Samoa in Pontypool.
Incumbent loosehead prop Tony Daly was injured during the end of season tour to Ireland and Wales. Crowley was brought into the run-on XV side for the Irish match and retained his place for the 23-6 win in Cardiff.
Crowley picked up a single cap off the bench in the 43-16 defeat of Canada in Calgary.
He started both home Tests against Argentina and was selected to his second Rugby World Cup. Crowley played loose head in the opening match of the tournament against South Africa and the quarter-final loss to England. He was capped in the 1st Test against New Zealand but was unavailable for the second leg of the series after he became the first Wallaby to be cited on video evidence, and then suspended, for an incident with All Black flanker Josh Kronfeld.
Richard Harry was preferred at No.1 for the two Test series against Wales however Crowley picked up a replacement cap in the 2nd Test. He went on to win another six caps, one against Canada, three during the Tri Nations series and one each against Ireland and Wales on the northern hemisphere tour.
After Harry dislocated his knee during the opening Bledisloe Cup Test in Melbourne, Crowley was called into the run-on XV having come off the bench in each of the first four internationals. He played in six of the next seven Tests and scored his first and only Test try in the 25-13 Rugby World Cup qualifier win over Western Samoa in Brisbane.
Crowley won his last nine caps, predominantly off the bench, and was selected to a third Rugby World Cup. His only start was in the pool game against the U.S.A. in Limerick however he won replacement caps in three matches, including the 35-12 win against France in the tournament final.