Nathan Raymond Spooner
- 751Wallaby Number
Nathan Spooner was a talented fly-half whose Test career was impacted by both the presence of Stephen Larkham and serious injury. Born and raised in Sydney’s north, Spooner attended Barker College where he was a star sportsman across athletics, swimming, basketball and rugby union. After he graduated Spooner played club rugby at Eastwood and in 1996 was selected in the AIS Australian U21s.
A year later Spooner made his debut for the NSW Waratahs against Western Samoa ‘B’ but only won another three caps. He moved north in early 1998 to play club rugby for Brothers and then the Queensland Reds. A dislocated shoulder in the first trial game of the year sidelined him for the rest of the domestic season however once recovered he took the opportunity to join King Country in the 2nd division of New Zealand’s NPC.
As a consequence Spooner was primed for the 1999 season. With Larkham out injured Spooner was picked to make his Test debut against Ireland in Brisbane where he scored 17 points.
Spooner enjoyed two composed performances in that Irish series however the selectors moved Tim Horan, and then Rod Kafer, to fly half until Larkham returned for the Rugby World Cup. A serious groin injury saw Spooner miss the 2000 season and in 2001 he left Australia for two years with Leinster in Dublin.
Represented Australian U21s
Selected in the AIS Australian U21s squad to play Fiji, South Africa and New Zealand.
Spooner won his first Test cap as the starting No.10 in the 1st Test, 46-10 defeat of Ireland at Ballymore. He held his spot for the second Test of the series, the 32-25 victory in Perth.