Philip John Crowe
- 592Wallaby Number
Phil Crowe was a beautifully balanced runner and prolific scoring winger who had his first taste of senior representative rugby at national level. Born in London, Crowe was educated at The Scots College in Sydney’s east and from there he represented Australian Schools on the 1973-74 tour to Great Britain. After graduation, Crowe played a season of colts at Eastern Suburbs specifically because Dave Brockhoff (Wallaby #364) was coach of University.
He then moved to University in 1975 under the tutelage of Jack Potts (Wallaby #423). Crowe had always wanted to play with University. It was where he studied medicine, University had more representative players, produced more representative players and in Crowe’s view offered a greater rugby opportunity.
In 1976 he won his University Blue and despite having not played for either the Sydney or New South Wales senior representative teams, was selected for the Wallaby tour to France and Italy. To that point in time Crowe’s highest representative honour had been for NSW U23s against Queensland U23s as the curtain raiser to the third Test between Australia and Fiji at the S.C.G. Crowe was one of just three specialist wingers on the tour alongside John Ryan and Paddy Batch. Despite that Laurie Monaghan played left wing in the first Test against France but suffered a badly twisted ankle and as a consequence Crowe came into the side and made his international debut in Paris.
Australia did not play any Tests at all in 1977 although when Wales arrived the following year it was Crowe who scored the match-winning try in Brisbane. Unfortunately Crowe then broke his ankle in a club match and was forced to withdraw from the subsequent tour to New Zealand.
He returned in 1979 to play in the 12-6 win over New Zealand that secured Australia’s first Bledisloe Cup in 30 years. Crowe then went to Oxford where he became a Rhodes Scholar, completed a PhD in surgery, and won three rugby Blues in 1981, 82 and 83, the final two as captain.
Phil Crowe played six Tests for Australia in a three-year international career.
Represented Australian Schools on their tour to the U.K.
Crowe won his first Test cap on the left wing in the 6-34 loss to France at Parc des Princes.
The Wallabies did not play a Test match in 1977.
Crowe played left wing in both home Test victories over Wales. He scored his first Test try in the 18-8, 1st Test win at Ballymore.
Crowe started at right wing in the 3-9 loss to Ireland in Sydney. He retained his spot for the 12-6 defeat of New Zealand at the S.C.G. and played his final international in the 1st Test, 13-24 loss to Argentina in Buenos Aires.