Michael Terence Cook
- 654Wallaby Number
Michael Cook was a strong, well balanced centre who graduated to national honours from one of Queensland’s great rugby nurseries, St Joseph’s College, Gregory Terrace. He was a punishing tackler, dependable, with safe hands and a steady head. Cook was born in Victoria before his family moved north to Queensland where he attended Terrace. Cook played three years of 1st XV rugby from where he went on to represent his country at schoolboy level.
In 1984 Cook made his debut for Queensland against Fiji at Ballymore however competition for spots was intense even at a state level with Andrew Slack, Nigel Kassulke and Tim Lane all in the frame. Cook came into his own in the 1986 season with strong displays against Italy and then in a beaten side against France. During that French fixture Cook left more than one of Les Bleus both battered and bruised following several bone crushing tackles. That performance earned him a Test debut against the tourists in Sydney.
Cook then toured New Zealand with the Bledisloe Cup winning Australians and the following year was chosen in the Wallaby squad for the Rugby World Cup. Cook enjoyed a fine 1988 season however at the top of his game he switched codes and signed to play rugby league with Eastern Suburbs. Michael Cook played 10 Tests in a three-year international career.
Represented Australian Schools in the two ‘Tests’ against England Schools.
Cook won his first Test cap as the starting inside centre alongside captain Andrew Slack in the 27-14 victory over France at the S.C.G.
Cook was selected in the Australian squad for the Rugby World Cup. Cook played in the warm-up match against South Korea and scored his first Test try. He was also capped in the 42-23 pool game victory over Japan in Sydney but broke his arm and took no further part in the tournament.
In his final season of international rugby Cook started in all eight Wallaby Tests, six at inside centre and the final two - against Scotland and Italy - at No.13 outside of Lloyd Walker.