Peter George Rowles
- 557Wallaby Number
Peter Rowles was a classy fly half, equally at home at inside centre, who played Test rugby for Australia before he switched codes and moved to rugby league. A brilliant goal-kicker, Rowles was also good on his feet with fine positional instinct and a fastidious trainer. Rowles came from a strong football background as his father, Ron, was an outstanding rugby league winger and goal kicker for Manly-Warringah in the 1950’s. Peter attended Edmund Rice College in Wollongong, alma mater of Wallabies Geoff Shaw (#526) and Brian Weir. Rowles excelled at swimming as well as rugby and attended Wollongong Teachers’ College on a scholarship in 1971. His football prowess was quickly noted and he made his way into the Illawarra team for Country Week at just 18.
He then debuted for New South Wales Country and played against the touring Springboks. Rowles strong representative performances earned him selection on his first Wallaby tour, to New Zealand in 1972. While he did not play in the Bledisloe Cup Tests he was selected to make his international debut against Fiji in Suva. Rowles won a place on the 1973 short tour to Wales, England and Italy and appeared against England at Twickenham the day before his 21st birthday.
In 1974 Rowles badly broke his leg in a car accident which left him in plaster for almost eight months. The following year he switched codes to play rugby league for Manly but spent the following season at Thirroul on the South Coast. Rowles joined the Australian Rugby Union in 2002 and played a significant role in the running of the 2003 Rugby World Cup.
Rowles won his first Test cap at inside centre in partnership with Dave Burnet in the 21-19 victory over Fiji in Suva.
Rowles was selected at fly half outside captain John Hipwell in the 3-20 loss to England at Twickenham.