James William Black
- 647Wallaby Number
James Black was a highly talented utility back who toured with one of Australian rugby’s greatest ever teams, the 1984 Grand Slam Wallabies.
Born and bred on Sydney’s northern beaches, Black was educated at Beacon Hill High School and from there he joined Manly in the Shute Shield competition.
Black made his debut for New South Wales against Waikato in 1982 however it was under the tutelage of future Wallaby coach Alan Jones at Manly a year later that Black truly prospered. In 1984 he was selected as the second fullback behind Roger Gould for the short Wallaby tour to Fiji and later that same year was named in the squad for the highly anticipated tour of the U.K. and Ireland. While Black did not play in any of the Tests he more than demonstrated his worth in the uncapped matches and finished the tour as the second highest point scorer (62).
Black’s opportunity to play for international rugby finally came in 1985 when, with Gould ruled out due to a rib injury, he debuted against Canada in Sydney. However, just as Black had established himself in the Australian squad he suddenly quit rugby at the age of 27.
James Black played four Tests for Australia in a one-year international career.
Black won his first Test cap at fullback in the 1st Test, 59-3 defeat of Canada at the S.C.G. He retained the No.15 jersey for the 2nd Test in Brisbane. With Roger Gould recovered from a rib injury Black shifted to outside centre alongside Tim Lane for the one-off 9-10 Bledisloe Cup loss in Auckland, a game in which he scored his first Test try. When Gould pulled out of the 1st Test against Fiji with a thigh injury Black was promoted from the reserve bench to fullback for his fourth cap of the season.