- 559Wallaby Number
Ron Graham was a fine scrum technician who like many prop forwards, earned national recognition after a well served apprenticeship in grade football. Intelligent, strong, determined and a natural leader, Graham played more than 100 club games for St George before his Test debut however he had faced stiff competition in the form of John Thornett, Jon White, Roy Prosser, Tony Miller and Jake Howard for several years.
Born in Sydney, Graham attended Kingsgrove North High School and played his rugby for Bexley Kingsgrove juniors. His first shot at representative rugby came in 1969 when he debuted for both Sydney and New South Wales against Fiji.
Following Prosser’s retirement after the tour to Fiji in 1972 an opportunity emerged that Graham gratefully accepted. A strong, controlled performance for New South Wales against Tonga earned him a Test debut in Sydney. Graham was then chosen for his first Wallaby tour, to Wales, England and Italy, at the end of 1973.
The pinnacle of his career was reached when selected for the Sixth Wallabies tour to the U.K. and Ireland. Graham started in four of the five Tests and was honoured with the captaincy for the uncapped match against Newport at Rodney Parade.
After his playing days had ended, Graham began an honorary administrative career. He was named President of the NSWRU in 2002 and then became President of the Australia Rugby Union in 2009.
Ron Graham played 18 Tests for Australia in a four-year international career.
Graham won his first Test cap ar prop in partnership with Jake Howard and Mick Freney in the 30-12 victory over Tonga in Sydney. Chris Carberry replaced Freney for the 2nd Test, 11-16 loss at Ballymore. Graham played in both Tests - Wales and England - on the short tour at the end of the year
John Meadows started the 1st Test against New Zealand before Graham was restored to the front row in concert with Stuart Macdougall and Peter Horton for the 2nd Test, 16-16 draw in Brisbane as well as the 6-16, 3rd Test loss at the S.C.G.
He did not play in the 1st Test against England however an ankle injury to Steve Finnane saw Graham chosen for the 2nd Test, ‘Battle of Brisbane’ and retained for both home internationals against Japan.
Graham was selected for the Sixth Wallabies tour to the U.K. and Ireland, and played in four of the five Tests. He partnered Horton and Meadows against Scotland and Wales, and Chris Carberry and Meadows against Ireland and the U.S.A.
Graham played all five Tests of the season against Fiji (3) and France, alongside Horton and Meadows, in his final two internationals.