Patrick Gerard Batch
- 585Wallaby Number
‘Paddy’ Batch was one of the most colourful, exciting and powerhouse wingers ever to play rugby for Australia. Batch had tremendous speed and a wonderful carving outside swerve however, with complete disregard for his personal safety, often simply ran straight through and over his opponent. In full flight he was the most awesome of human missiles.
A product of that great Rugby nursery Marist Brothers College, Ashgrove, Batch later qualified as a veterinary surgeon at the University of Queensland. Batch made his representative rugby debut, for Queensland, against New South Wales Country in 1972 however he soon faced the well versed amateur struggle as he juggled a burgeoning career with his rugby ambitions.
Surgery to a ruptured biceps tendon forced Batch to sit out the 1974 representative season however once recovered he reclaimed his spot on the Maroons’ right wing the following year. Although he suffered a hamstring injury in the Wallaby trial, one that forced him to miss the key Queensland v. England fixture, Batch scored tries against Japan (2), Sydney and New South Wales to be a ‘surprise’ selection - ahead of incumbents Ian Robertson and Doug Osborne - for the Sixth Wallabies’ tour to the U.K at the end of that season. On that tour Batch made his Test debut against Scotland at Murrayfield but missed the opportunity to score a first Test try when he inadvertently attempted a pass to a support player without realising he was already over the tryline.
In 1978 Batch played strongly in both home Test wins over Wales and was picked for the historic tour to New Zealand. He played in all three internationals and scored a tremendous try in the first Test in Wellington after a break by veteran halfback John Hipwell. In the third Test Batch produced one of his best all-round performances although it was his ‘error’ that proved to be most fortuitous. Batch knocked-on after a Bryan Williams' tackle however the new experimental law allowed knock-ons from tackles and as a result Greg Cornelsen plunged on the loose ball to score the third of his four tries. Batch toured to Argentina in late 1979 but retired shortly afterwards and went on to expand his veterinary career.
‘Paddy’ Batch played 14 Tests for Australia in a five-year international career.
Batch won his first Test cap on the right wing in the 3-10 loss to Scotland in Edinburgh. He retained his spot for the next two Tests against Wales and England before John Ryan was picked to play against Ireland and the U.S.A.
Batch played on the right wing and Ryan on the left in all three home Tests against Fiji. He scored his first test tries in the 1st Test, 22-6 victory in Sydney. He was also capped in both away Tests against France.
The Wallabies did not play a Test match in 1977.
He started in all five Tests, all on the right wing, against Wales (2) and New Zealand (3).
In his final season of international rugby Batch won his 14th cap in the 2nd Test, 17-12 victory over Argentina in Buenos Aires.