Peter David Sullivan
- 538 Wallaby Number
Peter Sullivan was a big, strapping flanker, a tireless worker in the ruck and maul, who captained Australia in a difficult period during the early 1970s. Born in Newcastle, Sullivan attended Chatswood High School and played his early rugby with the Forest Club in Forestville.
In 1966 he played First Grade in Wollongong and won a spot in the Illawarra representative side for the New South Wales Country carnival. In the blink of an eye after just six senior matches, and having just turned 18, Sullivan made his debut for New South Wales against Queensland. Injuries and form combined to impact the following two years before he returned to Sydney and joined the Gordon club under the tutelage of his old coach from the Forest, Bevan Wilson (Wallaby #370). Fitter, stronger, and with his love for the game reignited, Sullivan regained his NSW position in 1970. The following year he played for both Sydney and NSW against South Africa and from there earned a Test debut at the S.C.G. At the end of the 1971 season, Sullivan made his first Wallaby tour, to France and Italy. In 1972 he toured New Zealand under Greg Davis and on the way home became the 51st Wallaby to captain his country in the one-off Test against Fiji.
In 1974 Sullivan became the first captain since Trevor Allan to switch codes when he signed to play rugby league with St George. Sullivan played 13 Tests for Australia, four as captain, in a three-year international career.
Sullivan won his first Test cap as a flanker in combination with Greg Davis and fellow debutant Bob McLean in the 1st Test, 11-19 loss to South Africa at the S.C.G. That trio played in the final two Tests of that series and the two away internationals against France.
Sullivan, Davis and Dick Cocks formed the back row when France returned to Australia for a two Test series. Sullivan started in the first two Tests on the tour to New Zealand but missed the final match after he burst a blood vessel in his right calf muscle in the tour game against North Otago. He returned to the flank as captain and scored his first Test try in the 21-19 victory over Fiji in Suva.
He captained the side in the two home Tests against Tonga and in the 0-24 loss to Wales at Cardiff Arms Park before a knee injury ruled him out of the Twickenham international against England.