Paul Vincent Carozza
- 687Wallaby Number
Paul Carozza, a nuggety, pint-sized winger, was the target of one of the more disgraceful acts perpetrated on a Test rugby field.
Blessed with a low centre of gravity and sharp speed, Carozza was a product of Brisbane State High School. He joined the Wests club in Brisbane, represented Australian U21s and before he had even played a single match for Queensland was chosen on the 1987 Wallaby tour to Argentina. Carozza made his uncapped debut in the 22-22 draw with San Isidro but did not play in either of the Tests.
The following season he ran out for his Reds debut against the ACT in Canberra and his consistent form saw him picked for the end-of-season tour to the U.K. and Europe. In 1990 the Australian selectors decided not to pick David Campese for the first Test against France given that he had only recently arrived home after a stint in Italy. As a result Carozza was chosen to play his debut international in Sydney.
Two years later Carozza was on the left wing for the highly anticipated series between the World Champion All Blacks. The second Test is one which will forever be recalled when Carozza’s career is discussed. Following quick ruck ball inside the New Zealand 22, a cutout from Nick Farr-Jones found Jason Little in midfield. Little ran outside Richard Loe and drew John Kirwan inside before he sent a pass to Carozza who scored as he was tackled by fullback John Timu. It was then that Loe arrived and slammed his forearm into Carozza’s nose. The little winger sat bloodied and dazed in the in-goal area from a move more commonly seen in professional wrestling. While Loe’s action received universal condemnation it amazingly drew no action from New Zealand team management. Somewhat fittingly Carozza had the last laugh as it was his second try that sealed the Wallabies win, and with it the Bledisloe Cup.
Paul Carozza played 15 Tests for Australia in a four-year international career.
Represented Australian U21s against New Zealand Colts.
Carozza won his first Test cap as the starting left wing in the 1st Test, 21-9 victory over France in Sydney. He played in the final two Tests of the French series but injured his hamstring in the second Sydney match and missed the international against the U.S.A. He then returned for the 2nd and 3rd Tests against New Zealand. Carozza scored his first Test try in the 2nd Test, 48-31 win against France at Ballymore. Represented Australia at the Hong Kong 7s.
Represented Australia at the Hong Kong 7s.
With World Cup winner Rob Egerton having effectively retired, Carozza assumed the left wing role for the entire season. He won eight caps as the starting No.11 against Scotland (2), New Zealand (3), South Africa, Ireland and Wales.
Carozza earned his final two Test caps in the 52-14 defeat of Tonga in Brisbane and the 10-25 one-off Bledisloe Cup loss to New Zealand in Dunedin.