Peter Alan Horton
- 569Wallaby Number
Peter Horton was an uncompromising, ultra-competitive, extremely fit and mobile hooker who had a remarkable career given he was in direct competition with two outstanding No.2s, Bill Ross and Chris Carberry.
A tireless worker on the field and tireless in his preparation off it, Horton was born in Brixton, England, and played his senior rugby for St Luke’s College, Exeter, and Streatham-Croydon Rugby Club. He also represented Surrey in the county competition.
Aged 24 he migrated to Australia and settled in Newcastle having been appointed to Gateshead High School as Sportsmaster and Head of Physical Education. Horton joined the Waratahs Rugby Club, coached by the legendary Cyril Burke (Wallaby #344). It was at the Waratahs that he struck up a phenomenal hooker / half-back combination with John Hipwell. Together they played 11 Tests for Australia. Horton made his debut for New South Wales Country in 1971 and that same year for New South Wales in their 12-14 loss to the British Lions.
In 1974 he performed well in a strong Country side against New Zealand and was rewarded with a Test debut in Sydney. In 1978 he started in both wins against the Five Nations and Grand Slam Champions of Wales and the following year played in what he described as the most satisfying Test of his career when Australia defeated New Zealand 12-6 to win the Bledisloe Cup for the first time since 1949.
Peter Horton played 19 Tests for Australia in a six-year international career.
Horton won his first Test cap at hooker in partnership with fellow debutant John Meadows and the twice capped Stuart Macdougall in the 1st Test, 6-11 loss to New Zealand in Sydney. He retained his spot each of the final two Tests although Ron Graham came in for Meadows in both matches.
Horton started all four home Tests against England (2), against whom he played a significant role in Australia’s two wins, and Japan (2).
Horton played three of the four Tests on the Sixth Wallabies tour to Britain, against Scotland and Wales with Graham and Meadows, and against England propped by Macdougall and Steve Finnane. Chris Carberry played hooker against England.
Carberry held onto the No.2 jersey for the home series against Fiji before Horton returned to partner Graham and Meadows in both away losses to France.
The Wallabies did not play a Test match in 1977.
Horton, Graham and Stan Pilecki were the front row in the two home Test wins over Wales. Horton went on the tour to New Zealand and played in all three Tests, the first two with Pilecki and Meadows and the third with Meadows and debutant Chris Handy.
Bill Ross debuted in the home series against Ireland. Horton won his 18th cap in the one-off 12-6 victory over New Zealand in Sydney. He toured to Argentina and played his final match in the 13-24, 1st Test loss in Buenos Aires.