Edward Stewart Boyce
- 469Wallaby Number
Stewart Boyce shared the distinction of playing for his country with his twin brother, Jim, during the golden age of Australian rugby in the early to mid-1960’s. The brothers were Australia's outstanding wingers during the Thornett era when the Wallabies scored famous away victories over the Springboks and the All Blacks. Stewart was a tall, powerfully built winger with rare anticipation, and the ability to turn a half-chance into a genuine scoring opportunity. In an era when wingers threw into the lineout, both brothers perfected the art and had a magnificent understanding with lineout ace, Rob Heming, and this contributed greatly to Australia's successes in this period.
Born in Sydney, Boyce was educated at The Scots College. He and his brother joined fellow future Wallaby Rupert Rosenblum in the 1st XV for two seasons (1958-59) and won the GPS premiership in their final year.
In 1960 the brothers attended the University of Sydney where Stewart studied medicine and Jim enrolled in economics. The brothers quickly, within a week of each other, graduated to First Grade for the University’s storied rugby club. In 1960, Stewart was selected for the Australian Barbarians against Fiji. University won the Shute Shield in 1961 and Stewart was the leading try scorer with 14. When incumbent winger Michael Cleary switched to rugby league in 1962, Stewart was called up to debut for New South Wales’ upset 12-11 win against New Zealand. A knee injury to Jim Lenehan in that match saw Rod Phelps shifted to fullback and Boyce selected for his Test debut in Brisbane.
While he did play in the second Test, Boyce made himself unavailable for the return tour to New Zealand and the 1963 tour to South Africa in order to concentrate on his medical studies. From his return to the side in 1964, Stewart played in 11 of the Wallabies’ next 13 Tests through to his retirement in 1967. He enjoyed two of Australia’s greatest ever victories during that run - the 20-5 defeat of New Zealand in 1964; and the 2-0 home series win over South Africa in 1965.
One unique occasion in his career was when the twins played their first Test match together at Carisbrook, Dunedin in 1964. Unfortunately, New Zealand won 14-9. That result was all but forgotten by the third Test where Stewart scored two tries, the second a magnificent kick ahead and regather, and Australia inflicted the All Blacks largest ever loss at home. In 1965, The Australian Rugby Almanac named Stewart as one of the five best players of the year.
He was chosen for the 1966/67 Fifth Wallabies tour to the British Isles, Ireland, France and Canada where he started in all five Tests. Stewart Boyce played 13 Tests for Australia in a six-year international career.
Boyce won his first Test cap on the right wing in the 1st Test, 6-20 loss to New Zealand at the Exhibition Ground. He retained his place for the 2nd Test, 5-14 defeat in Sydney. Boyce was unavailable for the tour to New Zealand because of his medical studies.
Boyce was unavailable for the tour to South Africa because of his medical studies.
The Boyce twins played on the wings together for the first time in the 1st Test, 9-14 loss to New Zealand in Dunedin. Jim withdrew from the second Test side due to a massive haematoma on the front of his right thigh but returned for the 3rd Test, 20-5 victory at Athletic Park, where Stewart scored his first Test tries.
Stewart and Jim played on opposite wings in both home wins over South Africa.
Boyce missed the home series against the British Lions after he underwent surgery to remove a large fibrous mass from his right hamstring.
Boyce started on the right wing in all five Tests on the Fifth Wallabies tour to the U.K., Ireland, France and Canada.
Boyce retired from representative rugby after he was capped in the 5-11 loss to Ireland in Sydney.