Dominic Paul Shipperley
- 862Wallaby Number
Dom Shipperley was a strongly built, long striding winger whose prime rugby years were stolen from him by an almost unbelievable run of injury.
Born at Redcliffe in Queensland, Shipperley played his first rugby for the St Patrick's College, Shorncliffe U10s. He was then educated at one of the nation’s most prolific Wallaby nurseries, St. Joseph's College in Nudgee, and played two seasons in the school’s famous 1st XV (2007-08). From there Shipperley won selection for the Australian Schools before he moved on to play his club rugby with Brothers.
Shipperley was called into the Australian Sevens program during the 2008-2009 IRB World Series where he debuted at the prestigious Hong Kong tournament. In 2010 Shipperley was chosen to represent Australian U20s at the IRB Junior World Championship in Argentina. He scored a hat-trick of tries in the pool-game win over South Africa and Australia finished the tournament as runners-up.
Shipperley signed with the Queensland Reds for what became their championship winning 2011 Super Rugby season and he debuted against the Hurricanes in Wellington. A year on, and following a serious ankle tendon injury to Drew Mitchell, Shipperley was rewarded for his particularly impressive eight-try SR season, one that included a memorable 70 metre, 81st minute match winner against the Waratahs, with a Test debut against South Africa in Perth. He won two more caps during that year’s Rugby Championship before shoulder reconstruction surgery and Israel Folau’s stunning debut season of 2013 effectively gave the code-hopper a stranglehold on the Wallabies’ #14 jersey.
The shoulder reconstruction surgery was merely a precursor to a succession of knee injuries, surgeries and rehabilitations that dominated Shipperley’s sporting life for the next five years. In 2014, playing against the Rebels in Melbourne, Shipperley dislocated and fractured his left ankle following an innocuous collision with rival centre Tom English. He missed the rest of the season. In 2015 Shipperley fractured his right hand in the round four SR clash against the Lions. He missed four weeks. Early the following year, and now with the Rebels, Shipperley collided with Nic Stirzaker as he attempted to tackle the Hurricanes’ Beauden Barrett. It didn’t end well. Shipperley ruptured his left medial collateral ligament and broke the anterior cruciate ligament off at the bone. Surgery to reattach the ACL, repair the MCL and subsequent rehab saw him miss almost six months. Shipperley returned for the 2016 National Rugby Championship with the Melbourne Rising. In the semi-final against the New South Wales Country Eagles, Shipperley ruptured the ACL in his left knee. A knee reconstruction and subsequent rehabilitation saw him miss all of 2017. Finally, in an early 2018 season trial match against the Waratahs, Shipperley again injured the same left knee. He retired shortly thereafter.
Dom Shipperley played three Tests for Australia in a one-year international career.
Represented Australian Schools against Fiji U18s, Tongan Schools and New Zealand Schools.
Represented Australia in the IRB Sevens World Series
Selected in the Australian U20s squad for the third-annual IRB Junior World Championship tournament in Argentina.
Shipperley won his first Test cap when picked on the right wing in the 1st Test, 26-19 victory over South Africa in Perth. He was capped in both of the subsequent internationals - against Argentina on the Gold Coast and in the return match with South Africa in Pretoria - but missed selection for the end-of-season Spring Tour.