Mark Anthony Harding
- 636Wallaby Number
Mark Harding was a dual international for different countries in different sports.
Born in New Zealand, Harding attended Christchurch Boys’ High School where he played two years in the 1st XV (1972-73), the second as captain. He then represented New Zealand at water polo in 48 internationals from 1973 until 1985. Harding also represented in rugby for New Zealand U21s and U23s, and for Canterbury at provincial level.
Harding relocated to Australia in 1980 and played his club rugby for St George and then Port Hacking. In 1983 he debuted for Sydney against the ACT and four weeks later was in the side that beat Queensland - with an all-Wallaby front row of Andy McIntyre, Bill Ross and Stan Pilecki - 27-22 at Ballymore. At the end of that year, having not yet represented New South Wales and with a number of his rivals either not selected or not available, Harding was picked on the Wallaby tour to Italy and France.
In one Australia's most inexperienced front rows of all-time Harding was named alongside fellow debutant Mark McBain and one-capped John Coolican for the Test against Italy in Rovigo. Australia won 29-7 and Harding’s performance was described as “solid” however Andy McIntyre, who was originally selected in the squad as a loose head, returned to the team at No.3 for both Tests against France.
Mark Harding played one Test for Australian and will forever be Wallaby #636.
Harding won his first Test cap at tighthead prop in the 29-7, one-off Test victory over Italy in Rovigo.