Ronald Mason Harvey
- 436Wallaby Number
Ron Harvey was an outstanding sportsman who played both cricket and rugby at State level before a focus on rugby saw him win national honours and tour with the Fourth Wallabies.
Harvey was a clever tactical kicker with exemplary handling who came of age when he played alongside the great Cyril Burke for the Waratah club in Newcastle.
In 1954, Harvey partnered Burke when Newcastle met the touring Fijians. It was Harvey’s first game against an international side and he acquitted himself well, particularly in defence. That same year, New South Wales Country and Newcastle joined forces to send a strong team across the Tasman on a short tour of New Zealand and Harvey returned a better player for the experience.
In 1955, Harvey impressed with his performances in the trial matches at North Sydney Oval and as a consequence was selected to make his debut for New South Wales against Queensland. Harvey looked a strong possibility to make the Wallaby team to tour New Zealand however, a leg injury saw him miss selection.
Two years later, Harvey started at fly half when Newcastle gave the All Blacks a fright despite going down 9-20. Later in the season, Harvey took part in the Wallaby tour trials and from there was chosen, ahead of incumbent Australian captain Dick Tooth and Queensland's Ross Sheil, for the Fourth Wallabies tour to the British Isles, France and North America. Harvey performed well, particularly with his goal kicking, before the brilliant Cliff Morgan led Cardiff to an upset 14-11 win in the 12th match, just three ahead of the Welsh international. When Arthur Summons, Harvey's fly half rival, began to play with more confidence and flair it was no surprise that he was chosen for the four Home Union internationals. However, a bruised thigh ruled Summons out of the final Test against France and Harvey was called up to make his Test debut in Paris. Harvey played 27 matches on the tour and was honoured with the captaincy in the 6-3 victory over North of Scotland in Aberdeen.
In 1958 Harvey missed the opening two Tests against the Maori due to an injured back but returned for the final international of that series in Melbourne. He then captained Country Firsts against City Firsts and later NSW II in the Wallaby trials ahead of the tour to New Zealand however to great surprise Queensland’s Harry Roberts was preferred as Summon's cover at fly half.
Ron Harvey played two Tests in his two-year international career.
Harvey won his first Test cap at fly half alongside Des Connor in the 0-19 loss to France in Paris.
Harvey was named at fly half for the opening Test against the Maori but withdrew due to a back injury. When Arthur Summons was ruled out with a suspected rib fracture, Harvey was recalled for the 3rd Test, 6-13 loss in Melbourne.