Michael John Mathers
- 613Wallaby Number
Mick Mathers was a great exponent of the modern techniques in mauls and lineouts. In his time there were few better forwards in tight play. An honest, hard-working and loyal lock, Mathers captained the Sydney representative side during its highly successful era of the late 1970s / early 1980s. In fact he was discussed as a future Australia captain before his sudden retirement in 1980. Born in Perth, Mathers father James represented Western Australia against Australia in 1953 before he transferred to Sydney to take up an appointment at the Shore school. It was during his time at Shore that young Mathers learned his rugby craft from Neville Emery (Wallaby #350) and former England International, ‘Jika’ Travers.
Mathers played two years in the 1st XV (1972-73) and from there was chosen for the Australian Schools team that toured England in 1973-74. Mathers joined the Eastwood club but his first representative opportunity did not come until 1978 when he was selected for Sydney against Australian Services. A year later he debuted for New South Wales against the New Zealand Maori and then won selection on the Wallaby tour to Argentina although he did not play in the Tests.
In 1980 Mathers captained the Sydney team to an 18-10 victory over Queensland and two weeks later was chosen in the Wallaby squad for the tour to Fiji where he made his Test debut in Suva. Upon his return home Mathers led Sydney to a stunning 13-13 draw with New Zealand to win a spot on the bench for the three Test Bledisloe Cup series. Mathers was chosen for the Seventh Wallabies tour of Britain in 1981-82 although Peter McLean and Tony Shaw were the preferred locks for the first three internationals. Nonetheless Mathers was given the honour of captain for the uncapped matches against Oxford University, London Division and Munster. Mathers then retired from representative rugby in order to concentrate on club football with his beloved Eastwood.
Represented Australian Schools on their tour to the U.K.
Mathers won his first Test cap alongside fellow debutant Steve Williams in the 22-9 victory over Fiji in Suva. His second and final cap was earned off the bench when he replaced Williams, who had his jaw broken by Mark Shaw, in the 2nd Test, 9-12 loss to New Zealand at Ballymore.