Robert Neil Wood
- 558Wallaby Number
Bob Wood was a highly skilled lock / backrower who made two Wallaby tours where he consistently performed at the highest level. Wood was an outstanding athlete at Marist Brothers, Ashgrove. He played two years in the 1st XV - coached by Brother Terrance (Wallaby #418 Terry Curley), two years in the 1st XI (cricket), and was a State record holder for the long jump as a junior athlete. Wood then broke a trend when he joined Wests rather than Brothers, which was near-mandatory in those days for Ashgrove boys. He captained Wests U19s and went straight into First Grade in 1968.
A year later Wood made his debut for Queensland against Victoria. He then played two matches against Fiji, the second for an Australian XV. The Wallabies were on tour in South Africa at the time and coach Des Connor had called for reinforcements after flanker Barry McDonald tore his shoulder ligaments against Border. The selectors used that Australian XV match against Fiji as their guide and Wood was given the nod over Keith Henry from New South Wales to join the tour where he played with distinction in seven games. On the basis of his form and experience, Wood was selected for the Wallaby tour to New Zealand in 1972. He played in five of the thirteen games but captain Greg Davis, Peter Sullivan and Dick Cocks were preferred for the Bledisloe Cup Tests.
The Wallabies had also scheduled their first away Test against Fiji and it was there that Wood, who had played superbly on a rather forgettable tour to date, was rewarded with his Test debut in Suva.
Bob Wood played one Test for Australia and will forever be Wallaby #558.
Wood won his first Test cap at lock in partnership with Barry Stumbles in the one-off 21-19 victory over Fiji in Suva.