Mathew Steven Rogers
- 775Wallaby Number
Mat Rogers, one of the most versatile backs in the modern era, was another high profile rugby league convert of the early 2000s who thrived in the 15-man game and became a dual international. The son of Cronulla great Steve Rogers was born in the Sutherland Shire but from age 12 was raised both on the Gold Coast and on rugby union. He attended The Southport School from where he won selection for Australian Schools alongside future fellow Wallabies Joe Roff and Ben Tune.
Unfortunately for rugby Rogers followed his heart when he joined elder brother Don in league at Cronulla. He spent seven seasons in league, represented Queensland in State of Origin and played for Australia.
After 123 first grade games and more than 1,100 points for the Sharks, Rogers stunned the league world when he signed with the Waratahs in 2001. He made his Super Rugby debut against the Chiefs in Rotorua and some four months later played his first Test, against France in Melbourne.
In 2003 he set an Australian record for the most points in a single Test (42) against Namibia in Adelaide. His father passed away in early 2006 and at the end of the year the ARU granted Rogers a release from his playing contract.
Represented Australian Schools.
Represented Australia in the IRB Sevens World Series.
Rogers won his first Test cap when he replaced Dan Herbert at inside centre in the 1st Test, 29-17 victory over France in Melbourne. Rogers scored his first Test try at a crucial moment of the 2nd Test against New Zealand in Sydney and Australia went on to secure the Bledisloe Cup for a record fifth successive year. Rogers made his run-on XV debut at fullback in the 17-6 win against Argentina in Buenos Aires. In total Rogers played seven Tests for the year.
Rogers played the final 12 Tests of 2003, the last 11 of which were in the starting side, predominantly as an outside centre or a fullback. He won selection to his first Rugby World Cup as the first choice No.15. In the pool match against Namibia in Adelaide he scored an Australian record 42 points (2T, 16C).
Rogers missed the domestic Tests and the Tri-Nations due to a serious ankle injury. He returned for the Spring Tour and won replacement caps in each of the four internationals.
He earned a further ten Test caps across four positions - left wing, right wing, fullback and fly-half.
In his final year of Test rugby, Rogers played in 12 of the Wallabies’ 13 internationals.