Ross Gordon Teitzel
- 501Wallaby Number
Ross Teitzel was a veritable man mountain who appeared to answer Australia’s chronic shortage of big, muscular forwards to match the All Blacks and Springboks. Standing 1.93m and weighing 112kgs, Teitzel offered both size and bulk that provided a solid platform for the Wallaby scrum. Unfortunately, Teitzel enjoyed two outstanding seasons before he retired from international rugby aged just 21.Born in Brisbane, Teitzel was educated at the Anglican Church of England Grammar School where he played in the 1st XV.
As Teitzel came through the ranks at ‘Churchie’ and in the new U19 competition, new Queensland coach Bob Templeton positively salivated at the prospect of drafting Teitzel into the senior State side. After he graduated Teitzel studied veterinary science and played his club rugby for the University of Queensland.
In 1965 Teitzel made his debut for Queensland against New South Wales at Bathurst before he was fortuitously omitted from the match against the touring Springboks as the Maroons were humbled 5-50. When the selectors announced the 1966/67 Fifth Wallabies touring party to Britain, Teitzel, Mick Purcell and David Taylor were included to strengthen the Australian line out. Teitzel starred on tour as he played in 26 matches, including all five internationals, and won a Test debut against Wales in Cardiff.
In 1968 Teitzel did not play representative rugby due to injury and following an edict from the Dean of the faculty who believed that his football career, which had necessitated numerous absences over the prior twelve months, was interfering with his course work and had to be curtailed. With a long tour of South Africa on offer in 1969, Teitzel yielded to pressure and made himself available for Queensland’s three matches as part of the tour trials - not because he was available for the tour - but to stiffen the Queensland team and give his teammates every chance for selection.
Those three matches were the last representative games that Teitzel played before he abruptly retired. Ross Teitzel played seven Tests for Australia in a nine-month international career.
Teitzel won his first Test cap at lock in partnership with Rob Heming in the 14-11 victory over Wales at Cardiff Arms Park. He locked with Peter Crittle for the internationals against Scotland, England and Ireland before Heming returned for the final Test against France.
Teitzel started two Tests, the first with Mick Purcell against Ireland in Sydney and the second in combination with Tony Abrahams in the 9-29 loss to New Zealand at Athletic Park.