Peter William McLean
- 596Wallaby Number
Peter McLean was born into Australia’s greatest rugby dynasty. His grandfather Doug Snr. (Wallaby #54) played three Tests for Australia before he switched to rugby league and became a dual international. His uncle Doug Jnr. played 10 Tests for Australia from 1933-36 before he also became a dual international in rugby league. His uncle Jack was selected on the 1946 Wallaby tour to New Zealand but did not play a Test. Peter’s father Bill (Wallaby #332) was selected for the Second Wallabies tour to Britain in 1939, arrived in England the day before war broke out, and was dutifully sent back home after the tour was cancelled. Bill then captained the 1946 Wallabies to New Zealand, and in 1947-48 led the Third Wallabies on their tour to U.K. Peter’s cousins Jeff (Wallaby #541) played 13 Tests and Paul (Wallaby #571) played 30 Tests. Some dynasty indeed.
Peter himself was a tall, angular, highly talented second rower, ‘a hard-working grafter in the Reg Smith mould’ who proved himself to be an excellent foil, particularly when he played alongside outstanding lineout forward David Hillhouse. Peter attended Brisbane State High School, and started to play rugby in the U13s. He left BSHS, moved to Gatton Agricultural College, played in U18s and U19s, and from there was selected for the Brisbane U18 and U19 representative sides.
In 1976 McLean made his Queensland debut against New England at Ballymore. Two years later he received a late call-up for his first Wallaby tour, to New Zealand, when Hillhouse withdrew and he made his Test debut in Wellington. McLean was part of history in 1979 when Australia defeated New Zealand in a tryless match at the S.C.G. to win the Bledisloe Cup for the first time since 1949. The following year the All Blacks returned for a three Test series. McLean was injured for the first two Tests, but was selected for the series decider in Sydney. Australia triumphed 26-10 and record their first series win against New Zealand since 1949, and their first ever successful Bledisloe Cup defence. Peter McLean played 16 Tests for Australia in a five-year international career.
McLean won his first Test cap at lock alongside Garrick Fay in the 12-13 1st Test loss to New Zealand at Athletic Park. He also partnered Fay in the 2nd and 3rd Tests of that series.
McLean started all five Tests, the first two against Ireland in combination with Fay and the second with the debutant Keith Besomo. Tony Shaw joined him in the second-row for the 12-6, one-off Bledisloe Cup win in Sydney and they remained together for both away Test against Argentina. Represented Australia at the Hong Kong 7s.
He won his only cap off the bench when he replaced Steve Williams in the 22-9 defeat of Fiji in Suva. McLean was also capped in the 3rd Test, 26-10 Bledisloe Cup victory at the S.C.G. Represented Australia at the Hong Kong 7s.
McLean earned four caps in each of the internationals against the Home Nations on the Seventh Wallabies tour to Britain.
McLean played his final two Tests alongside Duncan Hall in the home series against Scotland.