Matthew James Pini
- 714Wallaby Number
Born in Canberra and educated at St Edmund’s College, Matthew Pini was a fullback with a sound all-round game, a reliable right boot and a calmness under pressure. He represented Australian Schools in the side that toured New Zealand in 1986 and two years later he was selected for the ACT.
In 1990 he played for the AIS Australian U21s in their 21-24 loss to New Zealand U21s and won selection for the Emerging Wallabies tour of Europe.
In 1992, Pini moved to Wests in Brisbane and made his Queensland debut against Canterbury at Ballymore. The next season Pini was in the Reds’ team that defeated the touring Irish 29-26 and on the basis of his fine all-round performance he made his Test debut against Ireland in Brisbane.
Pini also played in the 1994 Bledisloe Cup winning side and in 1995 was selected to his first Rugby World Cup. He then left Australia and in 1998 made his Test debut for Italy for whom he was capped 12 times.
Pini actually had the honour of playing in two World Cups, 1995 and 1999, for two different countries. Matthew Pini played eight Tests for Australia in his two year Wallaby career.
Selected in the AIS Australian U21s squad to play New Zealand Colts.
Represented the AIS Australian U21s against New Zealand U21s.
Pini won his first Test cap as the starting fullback in the 1st Test, 33-13 victory over Italy in Brisbane. He scored his first Test try in the 73-3 defeat of Western Samoa in Sydney. Pini finished the season with four Test caps.
Pini started both home Tests against Argentina and was selected to his first Rugby World Cup. He played in the opening match of the tournament against South Africa and in the pool game win over Romania.