Robert Henderson Graves

  • 1Caps
  • 86Wallaby Number
PositionFront row forward
Date Of BirthSeptember 1, 1880
Place of BirthSydney
SchoolFort Street High School
Debut ClubBalmain
Debut Test Match1907 Wallabies v New Zealand, 1st Test Sydney
DiedFebruary 15, 1958


Graves was a dual international prop forward noted more for his services in the professional rugby code than to the amateur union. He played three games for NSW and a sole Test against New Zealand in 1907. Graves learned his rugby at Fort Street High School before attending Hawkesbury Agricultural College and played there for two years . After College he played for suburban clubs, Grosvenor, Forest Lodge Cambridge and Gipps Club, near Balmain. He won a premiership with Gipps club before joining Balmain in the Metropolitan competition in 1905.

Not long after playing for Balmain , he was selected to represent Metropolis against Country. However it took two years to receive higher honours ,playing for NSW against Queensland in 1907. In that year he made his Test debut as a reserve forward to play in the first Test against New Zealand at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Australia had a rare occasion of replacing a player during the match , not one but two - Graves for John Rosewell and Billy Richards for John Barnett, both props. There was a crowd of 50,000 at the SCG that day, which set a record for most attendances in a Test match against two sides that stood until 1997.

At the end New Zealand was too strong and won 26 to 6. The following month after the New Zealand Test , he joined the new rugby code with the Balmain Club and became the foundation captain. He played six Tests for the Kangaroos and in his final Test appearance he captained the Australian team against New Zealand, and won 25 to 5.

Robert Henderson Graves