Peter Anthony Jones
- 486Wallaby Number
Peter Jones was a stocky, penetrating centre with superb hands and a bandy legged sidestep who attained national honours only to switch codes with his rugby prime still ahead of him.
Born at Gundagai, Jones was educated at Waverley College and then played his club rugby with Randwick. He burst onto the representative scene in 1963, aged 20, when he debuted for New South Wales against Queensland. Four days later he played for ‘Australia’ versus The Rest in the final trials for the upcoming Test against England and the subsequent tour to South Africa.
Less than a month after his first rep match, Jones ran onto the Sydney Sports Ground to make his Test debut against England. The game was played in atrocious conditions however Jones was singled out for his brilliant handling. Australia scored four tries - one of those to Jones - in a stunning 18-9 victory. The Times reported: “In the long annals of international rugby there has rarely been half an hour’s play to compare to that with which the Australians unleashed today. England’s ‘mud-spattered’ could do little more than stand and admire the fingertip passing rushes that built up a score of 18 points, huge in proportion for an international match in any conditions, but overwhelming in these treacherous conditions.”
On the tour to South Africa, Jones was called up for his second cap in Pretoria after Dick Marks failed to overcome an upper arm injury. Ian Moutray replaced Jones in Cape Town before Marks returned to play in the final two internationals. On his return to Australia, Jones switched codes to play rugby league for Balmain.
Jones won his first Test cap at inside centre alongside Dick Marks in the 18-9 victory over England in Sydney. He scored his first Test try in that match to become the 42nd Wallaby to score a try on debut. Jones moved to outside centre in partnership with Beres Ellwood for the 1st Test, 3-14 loss to South Africa at Loftus Versfeld.