Patrick Berkery Harvey

  • 2Caps
  • 362Wallaby Number
PositionNo. 8
Date Of BirthMarch 17, 1928
Place of BirthBrisbane
SchoolSt. Joseph's Nudgee College
ProvinceQLD
Debut ClubBrothers (Brisbane)
Debut Test Match1949 Wallabies v New Zealand Maori, 1st Test Sydney
Final Test Match1949 Wallabies v New Zealand Maori, 2nd Test Brisbane
DiedJuly 19, 1995

Biography

Pat Harvey was a vigorous, attacking lock who appeared to have a bright future at the top level before a selection furore and then an untimely illness robbed him of a chance for redemption. Born and bred in Brisbane, Harvey was educated at Nudgee College where he played in both the school and GPS 1st XVs in his final year. Outstanding in the lineout and solid in the tight forward exchanges, Harvey joined the Brothers’ club in 1946 under the watchful eye of Joe French. He made his first grade debut that same year and played a part in their three premiership victories (1946, 49 & 50) over the next five years.

The following year aged just 19, Harvey made his debut for Queensland and went on to play 25 consecutive matches for his state over the next four seasons. His big break came in 1949 when he was chosen out of position at No.8 for the 1st Test against the Maori in Sydney. Eric Tweedale, at lock rather than prop, and Keith Cross at flanker as opposed to No.8 were similarly picked in less familiar positions. Dual All Black (#382) and Wallaby (#290) Ted Jessep said, "Australian selectors have picked a bad time to start experimenting with players in new positions." He was right. Australia lost the Test 3-12 and while they managed to earn an 8-8 draw in Brisbane the selectors had ‘given up any further experimenting’ come the second Sydney match.

As a consequence Third Wallabies’ No.8 Arthur Buchan was recalled to the team at Harvey’s expense. Comments from Justice Herron, President of the NSWRU, that "Australia at last has a team with real guts in the forwards" were far from helpful. Nonetheless Harvey had every right to look forward to the impending tour to New Zealand with confidence given he was one of six Queenslanders considered to be ‘certainties’ for the tour.’ Unfortunately that confidence proved to be misplaced as ‘ the highly regarded’ Harvey was a ‘major shock omission’ from the touring party.

The following year Harvey was set to play against New South Wales in a key trial ahead of the Tests against the Lions. However, he was one of several Queenslanders who were laid low by a bout of influenza and missed both that trial and, as a direct result, the Test series.

In 1951 Harvey moved north when he signed to play rugby league in the Ingham region of North Queensland. A year later Harvey joined the Army where, under a special dispensation to enlisted men, he was allowed to play and coach the Army team in the Brisbane reserve grade competition.

In 1953, with Army hopeful of gaining A grade status, Harvey applied to the QRU for clarification on his status, given his season in league, to determine if he was eligible to play representative rugby. The QRU ruled against his eligibility and stated he could only play rugby with Services teams. Pat Harvey played two tests for Australia in a one-year international career.

Highlights

1949

Harvey won his first Test cap at No.8 with Keith Cross and Col Windon as his flankers in the 3-12, 1st Test loss to the Maori at the S.C.G. Harvey and Windon were joined by David Brockhoff, who replaced Cross, for the 2nd Test, 8-8 draw at the Exhibition Ground.

Patrick Harvey profile
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