Roderick James McCall
- 684Wallaby Number
Rod McCall was a formidable and unassuming lock who while not flashy, became an essential part of the Australian tight five in the early 1990s. At 1.98 metres and 110 kgs, McCall was an outstanding lineout forward. Nonetheless he spent many years honing his skills and, when finally under the guidance of former Wallaby captain Tony Shaw at the Brothers’ club, hardened to the point that he came into his own. 1986 proved to be his breakthrough year when he debuted for Queensland against Canterbury at Lancaster Park and went on to win a place on the Wallaby tour to New Zealand. McCall also toured the U.K. in 1988 as a back-up to Steve Cutler and Bill Campbell and while he did not play in any of the three Tests the experience proved to be invaluable.
In 1989 he went away for a third year in four and made his Test debut against France in Strasbourg. Seven months later, in the first Test against the French in Sydney, McCall was involved in an incident previously unseen in Test rugby. Thirteen minutes into the match opposing flanker Abdel Benazzi became the first player to be sent off on debut after he stomped on McCall. McCall went on to play a vital role in the Wallaby scrum for the next four years. From his debut through to the end of the 1993 season he started in 34 of Australia’s 35 Tests. 1995 proved to be his swan-song, highlighted by selection to a second Rugby World Cup, and he was honoured with the captaincy for the pool game against Romania. McCall played 40 Tests for Australia in a seven-year international career.
McCall won his first Test cap at lock in partnership with another debutant, Peter FitzSimons, in the 1st Test, 32-15 victory over France in Strasbourg. A week later he picked up a second cap in the 2nd Test, 19-25 defeat at Lille.
He started in all seven Wallaby Tests, five in combination with FitzSimons and two with Bill Campbell.
McCall played in nine of the 10 internationals, eight with John Eales and one with Troy Coker. He was selected to his first Rugby World Cup and was in the run-on XV for five of Australia’s six matches.
McCall was capped in all eight Tests, the first seven beside Eales and the final one with Garrick Morgan. He scored his one and only Test try in the 23-6 win against Wales in Cardiff.
He started all eight Tests of 1993 partnering Morgan in seven matches and Warwick Waugh in the 1st Test against South Africa in Sydney.
McCall earned a single cap against Italy in Melbourne.
In his final year of international rugby McCall won five caps and selection to his second Rugby World Cup. In the 42-3 pool match victory over Romania in Stellenbosch he became the 65th Wallaby to captain his country.