Patrick William Howard
- 705Wallaby Number
There are only a handful of mini-dynasties within Australian rugby, the Tancreds, the Lawtons and the Towers/Howards. Howard’s maternal grandfather, the famous Cyril Towers (Wallaby #230) played 19 Tests and his father ‘Jake’ (Wallaby #534) played seven Tests. Pat was a solidly built fly half / inside centre with a sharp step, very safe hands and an astute football brain.
He was educated at Brisbane’s Marist College, Ashgrove and played in the 1st XV. While Howard did not win selection for Australian Schools he went on to captain his country at U19 level.
A year later Howard was thrust into the national limelight when called upon to replace the injured Michael Lynagh at No.10 for the one-off Test against New Zealand in Dunedin. It was a baptism of fire and when the dust had settled the All Blacks had reclaimed the Bledisloe Cup. A string of serious, time-consuming injuries that included a broken jaw, a broken arm and a broken legconspired against Howard for the next several seasons.
Over the tenure of his five-year international career the Wallabies played 44 Tests while Howard earned 20 caps.
In 1998 he left Australia to take up a contract with Leicester in the U.K. where he stayed for three years.With his sight set on regaining a Wallaby jersey, Howard returned to the ACT Brumbies in 2001 but was not selected for the 2003 Rugby World Cup.
He captained Australian U19s from fly half against New Zealand U19s. The Australian side included fellow future Wallabies Dan Herbert, George Gregan, Brendan Cannon and Fletcher Dyson.
Howard won his first Test cap as the run-on XV fly half in the 10-25 loss to New Zealand in Dunedin.
Australia had selected three No.12s - Matt O’Connor, Richard Tombs and Dan Herbert, in the opening four Tests of the year before Howard was selected for the Test against Western Samoa. The Wallabies ran riot, won 73-3, Howard scored his first Test try and he then held his place for the 20-16 one-off Bledisloe Cup win in Sydney.
After Australia’s disappointing performance at the Rugby World Cup, Howard earned a recall at inside centre for the two Bledisloe Cup Tests.
Howard played eight Tests, five as the starting fly half and three at inside centre.
Howard started the two home Tests against France and the 1st Test against New Zealand but suffered a nasty leg break to miss the rest of the Tri Nations. He returned for the end-of-season tour to Argentina and the U.K. and was in the run-on XV at No.12 for each of the four internationals.