Michael Richards Cocks

  • 10Caps
  • 549Wallaby Number
  • 76Age
PositionFlanker
Date Of Birth1 March 1945
Place Of BirthSydney
SchoolGosford High School
Debut ClubBrisbane Waters
Other ClubsNewcastle University, Wagga City, Bourke, Wollongong Waratahs, Villagers (Cape Town, SAF), Brothers (Brisbane), Cus Milano (Milan, ITA), Durban High School Old Boys (SAF)
ProvinceNSW
Other ProvinceQLD, Western Province (SAF), Natal (SAF)
Debut Test Match1972 Wallabies v France, 1st Test Sydney
Final Test Match1975 Wallabies v Japan, 1st Test Sydney

Biography

Dick Cocks was a barrel-chested loose forward who possessed a ton of courage and great leadership qualities. Cocks revelled in the maul, tackled like a demon and as Bob Templeton once said: was hard as nails. Born in Sydney, Cocks attended Gosford High School and became a schoolteacher by profession.

In 1967 he made his debut for New South Wales Country against Golden Bay-Motueka and the following year played his first game for New South Wales against Queensland at Ballymore.

In 1969, and by now transferred to Wollongong, he was invited to play in the Wallaby trials for the tour of South Africa. Cocks impressed and was one of six players from Country named in the squad. He debuted off the bench in the opening uncapped match against Eastern Transvaal. In a 15-minute cameo, Cocks delivered a rousing display but unfortunately then suffered a chest injury in the next game against Free State that sidelined him for six weeks. He returned to play a further five non-Test fixtures.

Cocks took himself back to South Africa in 1971 and played club rugby in Cape Town. He caught the attention of the Western Province selectors where he earned three caps. Cocks returned to Australia in 1972 and had a storming game for Country against France to earn a Test debut in Sydney.

Cocks toured to New Zealand and Fiji in 1972 and to Wales and England at the end of the 1973 season where he was honoured with the captaincy for the uncapped match against South & South-West Counties. When the Sixth Wallabies to Britain were named for the 1975/76 tour, Cocks name was not included so he packed up and left for South Africa. He settled in Natal where he joined legendary Springbok number eight Tommy Bedford in the back row.

In 1979, he welcomed flanker Gary Pearse into the side and the following year, Mark Loane joined them both to form an all Wallaby loose forward trio.

Dick Cocks played 10 Tests for Australia in a four-year Test career.

Highlights

1972

Cocks won his first Test cap at No.8 in combination with Greg Davis and Peter Sullivan in the 14-14, 1st Test draw with France in Sydney. That backrow retained their place for the 2nd Test, 15-16 loss at Ballymore. Cocks was then selected for the Wallaby tour to New Zealand. Tony Gelling was preferred at No.8 for the first Test loss at Athletic Park before Cocks was recalled to the back of the scrum for the 2nd Test, 17-30 defeat at Lancaster Park. He was switched to flanker for the third Test at Eden Park when Barry Stumbles was shifted from the side to No.8. Cocks finished the tour at the back of the scrum in the 21-19 win over Fiji in Suva.

1973

Cocks played on the flank alongside Mark Loane and Peter Sullivan in the two Test home series against Tonga. Cocks remained on the side of the scrum, but with Tony Shaw at No.8, for the Tests against Wales and England at the end of the year. 

1975

He earned a final cap as a flanker when Shaw was unavailable due to a thigh injury for the 1st Test, 37-7 victory over Japan in Sydney.

Michael Richards Cocks