Rodney Graham Hauser
- 581Wallaby Number
Rod Hauser was a courageous, durable and nuggety halfback who had the distinction of being the first South Australian representative to play rugby for Australia. He offered crisp service, had an elegant dive pass, was a combative defender and proved a constant danger in attack, particularly on the short side. Always at the peak of fitness, he was a most dedicated trainer and an excellent team-man.
A dedicated Lutheran, he combined his rugby career enthusiastically with his stint of teacher training at the Lutheran Teachers’ College in South Australia (1971-73) and his initial years teaching at his alma mater, St Peter’s Lutheran College at Indooroopilly in Brisbane.
In 1973 he was a surprise selection on the short Wallaby tour to England, Wales and Italy as understudy to all-time Wallaby great halfback John Hipwell.
In 1975 Australian captain John Hipwell was injured in the first Test against Japan and Hauser came on to make his international debut. Hauser remained Hipwell’s deputy for the Sixth Wallabies’ tour to Britain however when the captain suffered a recurrence of his knee trouble against Wales, Hauser assumed the No.9 jersey for the final three Tests. In fact Hauser started at halfback in ten consecutive Tests through to the end of the home series against Wales in 1978 before Hipwell returned to captain the side on the tour of New Zealand.
Hauser officially retired from competitive rugby at the end of the 1979 season.
Hauser won his first Test cap off the bench when he replaced John Hipwell in the 1st Test, 37-7 victory over Japan in Brisbane. Two weeks later he won his first run-on XV cap inside Paul McLean and scored his first Test try in the 2nd Test, 50-25 win in Sydney.
Hauser won another replacement cap when Hipwell was forced to leave the field with a recurrence of his knee injury in the 3-28 loss to Wales. Hauser then started the remaining three Tests of the tour, with John Weatherstone against Ireland and England, and alongside Ken Wright in the 24-12 win over the U.S.A. in Anaheim.
He played all five Tests - Fiji (3) at home and France (2) away - in combination with Paul McLean.
The Wallabies did not play a Test match in 1977.
Hauser and McLean partnered in the two home Test wins against Wales before Hipwell played No.9 in each of the three Bledisloe Cup Tests.
In his final season of international rugby Hauser teamed up with McLean in both losses to Ireland.