James Charles Holbeck
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James Holbeck was a hard-running inside centre who missed the prime of his rugby career due to serious shoulder and leg injuries.
Born in Ipswich, Queensland, Holbeck was educated at The Armidale School and Sydney Boys’ High School, and from there represented Australia at both schools and aged levels. Strong performances both in club rugby for Randwick and for the 1994 Australian U21s ensured Holbeck was well known to senior representative selectors.
In 1996 he made his provincial debut for the ACT Brumbies against the Auckland Blues and a year later played his first Test, against New Zealand in Christchurch.
In early 1998, Holbeck underwent shoulder surgery to repair an injury he had carried for two seasons. He then missed the entire season and after a slow recovery the surgeon decided to operate again to remove some bone.
In 2001, almost four years out of the game due to injury, Holbeck played one final Test and in many respects could not have finished his international career in a better way. He came off the bench as a replacement and was on the field when the siren sounded to confirm Australia’s 2-1 series victory over the British & Irish Lions.
Holbeck played seven Tests for Australia in his five-year international career.
Represented Australian Schools against New Zealand Schools
Represented Australian U21s
Holbeck won his first Test cap when he replaced Pat Howard at inside centre in the 13-30, 1st Test loss to New Zealand in Christchurch. A week later he made his run-on XV debut at No.12 in the 25-6 victory over England in Sydney. Holbeck earned four more caps that season, all at No.12, against New Zealand (2) and South Africa (2).
Almost four years after Holbeck won his sixth Test cap he would earn a seventh and final cap off the bench in the 29-23, 3rd Test, series winning defeat of the British & Irish Lions in Sydney.