Phillip Anthony Cox

  • 66Age
  • 16Caps
  • 607Wallaby Number
Date Of BirthAugust 2, 1957
Place of BirthSydney
SchoolBalgowlah Boys' High School
Debut ClubManly
Debut Test Match1979 Wallabies v Argentina, 1st Test Buenos Aires
Final Test Match1984 Wallabies v New Zealand, 3rd Test Sydney


Phillip Cox came from good rugby stock. His father Brian (Wallaby #388) played nine Tests for Australia and his younger brother Mitchell (Wallaby #620) played two Tests. His was a remarkable family trio of rugby internationals. Cox, a halfback like his father, was a tough, aggressive footballer whose trademark was his long, accurate pass from the ground. He learned his early rugby with Manly U10s and then at Balgowlah Boys’ High School.

In 1978 Cox played First Grade for Manly aged 20 and a year later made his debut for Sydney against Auckland. Despite not having yet played for New South Wales, Cox was named on the Wallaby tour to Argentina in late 1979. Amazingly Cox made his debut in the 1st Test after incumbent halfback Peter Carson withdrew due to a bad case of sunburn. Following a strong series against France at home Cox was selected for the Seventh Wallabies tour of Britain in 1981/82 alongside his brother Mitchell. In the Welsh Test, Phillip replaced the injured John Hipwell and the two brothers played together in their one and only international. They were the first brothers to play a Test for Australia since Paul and Jeff McLean in 1974.

In 1984, Cox returned from a nasty knee injury to play in all three Bledisloe Tests and be named in the Eighth Wallabies tour however Nick Farr-Jones was preferred for all four international wins against the Home Nations. Phillip Cox played 16 Tests for Australia in a six year international career.



Cox won his first Test cap at halfback and in combination with Tony Melrose in the 1st Test, 13-24 loss to Argentina in Buenos Aires. A week later he retained his spot for the 2nd Test, 17-12 victory also in Buenos Aires.


Cox played three Tests, one against Fiji inside Michael Hawker and the first two Tests against New Zealand in partnership with Mark Ella.


He earned two caps, the first off the bench when he replaced John Hipwell in the 13-18 loss to Wales in Cardiff and the second as the starting No.9 in combination with Mark Ella in the 15-24 loss to Scotland at Murrayfield.


Cox started all five Tests, four with Ella and the 2nd Test against Scotland inside Paul McLean.


He missed the entire international season after he ruptured his cruciate and medial knee ligaments in a club game for Manly.


In his final season of Test rugby Cox played four Tests alongside Ella, the one-off match against Fiji and all three Bledisloe Cup Tests.


Represented Australia at the Hong Kong 7s.


Represented Australia at the Hong Kong 7s.

Philip Cox profile