Mitchell James Chapman
Mitch Chapman, a well-travelled, strong ball-carrying lineout specialist could easily have chased a ‘baggy green’ before he ultimately wore Wallaby gold.
Chapman was such a gifted cricketer that he played three years of 1st XI at Brisbane Grammar School (1998-2000). Incredibly that three could easily have been four because, in his final year, Chapman played first grade for Valleys in Brisbane’s open men’s competition. He represented QLD at U17 level, scored the most runs at the national carnival and earned selection for Australia U17s. Chapman went on to be twice picked for the Queensland U19s however the only reason he did not play in the second of those was because he had signed to play Super Rugby with the Reds.
As a boy Chapman first played rugby league for the Runaway Bay Seagulls through to the U10s before he switched to union at The Southport School as a number eight. The Chapman family then moved to Sydney where Mitch ran around for both Beecroft and Eastwood juniors. Back in Brisbane, Chapman finished his schooling with two seasons of 1st XV (2000-01), the second as captain, and walked away with the GPS Open shot put title. He then won selection for Queensland Schools 1st XV (2000-01) and in that second year captained the side to the national championship. Chapman also captained Australian Schools in 2001.
After graduation Chapman enrolled to study Commerce at the University of Queensland and made his first-grade debut for their rugby club in 2003. That same year he was picked for the first of two seasons in the Australian U21s and played in the junior World Cup final loss to New Zealand. In 2005, Chapman won the first of his 34 Queensland caps, off the bench, in the Reds’ 24-59 loss to the Crusaders at Trafalgar Park (L 24-59). The following year Chapman’s consistent form earned him a call up for the Wallabies Spring Tour where he made his debut for Australia in the uncapped fixture against Ireland ‘A’.
Chapman went on to start every match of the 2007 Super Rugby season and was named in John Connolly's 59-man Wallabies train-on squad for the sixth Rugby World Cup however shoulder surgery put paid to his season. Chapman moved to the Brumbies for the 2008 season, one in which he also played for the Barbarians, before he earned a second Spring Tour berth in 2009. A year later he won a spot in the Wallaby match day squad for the Test against Ireland at Suncorp however the back row of Richard Brown, David Pocock and Rocky Elsom played all 80 minutes.
At the end of the 2011 Super Rugby season Chapman departed for the Japanese Top League and two seasons with NTT Docomo. Upon his return to Australia, he signed with the Waratahs. In 2014, Chapman snapped the peroneal tendon in his ankle a week before the first trial however he enjoyed a shorter-than-expected recovery, one which allowed him to play his 100th Super Rugby match, against the Lions in Johannesburg, and enjoy New South Wales’ maiden championship victory. Chapman retired at the end of the 2015 season and two years later he was the assistant coach at University of Queensland when they won the Hospitals Cup.
Chapman is currently Head Coach of Referees for Rugby Australia.
Represented Australian Schools
Represented Australian U21s at the second IRB Under 21 Rugby World Cup in England 2004 Represented Australian U21s at the third IRB Under 21 Rugby World Cup in Scotland
Chapman played two matches on the Wallaby Spring Tour of the northern hemisphere - vs. Ireland ‘A’ at Limerick (W 24-17), and vs. Scotland ‘A’ at Perth (W 44-20)
Chapman started two matches on the Wallaby Spring Tour of the northern hemisphere - vs. Gloucester (W 36-5), and vs. Cardiff Blues (W 31-3)
Chapman was an unused replacement for the one-off Lansdowne Cup Test against Ireland in Brisbane