Robert Henry Egerton
- 695Wallaby Number
Rob Egerton was a thrilling fullback cum winger with rare attacking skills and socks always worn around his ankles, who literally brought the University (of Sydney) Oval crowd to their feet whenever he touched the ball. Softly spoken and the most personable of men, Egerton played football for the love of the game and displayed exceptional sportsmanship both on and off the field.
Born in Lae, Papua New Guinea, Egerton was educated at Marist College, Canberra and played half a season as fly half in the 1st XV. He arrived at the University of Sydney in 1982 and two years later enjoyed his first representative experience when he played for Australian Universities against Fiji and France. Egerton later travelled to the U.K where he played two years at University College, collected Blues for each season (1987-88) with the Oxford 1st XV, and started in the annual clash with Cambridge at Twickenham.
In 1991, and back at home, he won selection in the New South Wales squad to tour Argentina. All the wingers on tour took sick and Egerton was picked on the flank. It was his lucky break. When the team returned home the Waratahs went on a seven-match winning streak, including two wins over Queensland, and Egerton had shown enough of his attacking and defensive wares to win a Test debut against Wales in Brisbane.
In the 1st Bledisloe Cup Test in Sydney Egerton found himself marking All Black legend John Kirwan. From a second half lineout near halfway, and with the Wallabies ahead 14-9, fly half Michael Lynagh lobbed a kick downfield. Kirwan mistakenly allowed the ball to bounce, it landed on its point and as Kirwan reached to grab it Egerton literally plucked it from his grasp, outpaced the despairing dive of fullback John Timu and raced around under the posts to score the match sealing try. Egerton duly earned selection in Australia’s World Cup squad. At the end of the season, having returned home a World Champion, Egerton headed off to the United States with his wife, Julia, who had won a Fulbright Scholarship at the University of Massachusetts.
In 1992, Egerton played for the Boston Rugby Union Club before he underwent a full knee reconstruction. He returned to Australia in mid-1993, played out the season with University and then retired where it had all begun.
Rob Egerton played nine Tests for Australia and while his international career only spanned one season he was an integral part of one of the greatest years in Wallaby history.
Egerton won his first Test cap as the run-on XV left winger in the 63-6 triumph over Wales at Ballymore. He scored his first Test try in that match to become the 71st Wallaby to score a try on debut. Egerton was then capped against the touring English and in both Bledisloe Cup Tests. He was selected to his first Rugby World Cup and played in five of Australia’s six matches, including all three finals.