- 631Wallaby Number
Phil Clements was a determined, rugged, whole-hearted lock from the Parramatta club in Sydney who plied his trade in the Shute Shield before he enjoyed a single season of international rugby in the twilight years of his career. Born in Goulburn, Clements was actually a rugby league fullback or fly half as a youngster. He switched to union when in high school, was quickly shifted into the forwards and later captained Sydney Combined Second Division schools.
In 1978 Clements had his first taste of representative rugby when he debuted for Sydney against the ACT at Manuka Oval but then waited a further four years for a second opportunity to emerge. In 1982 Clements was part of a string of excellent wins for the Sydney representative side - against Fiji (21-18), Queensland (25-9) and Scotland (22-13) - that saw him win selection for the Wallaby tour to New Zealand. Despite the presence of Steve Williams, Steve Cutler and Duncan Hall in the touring party Clements played in the first two Saturday matches.
His consistent performances were duly rewarded with a Test debut in the deciding third Test in Auckland. During the tour Clements had the honour of captaining Australia in their uncapped, record 65-10 defeat of Buller. Phil Clements played one Test for Australia and will forever be Wallaby #631.
Clements won his first Test cap at lock alongside Steve Williams in the 18-33, 3rd Test loss to New Zealand in Auckland.