Ross John Reynolds
- 643Wallaby Number
Ross Reynolds was a versatile forward with a preference for No.8 who was a key member of Australia’s success in the mid-1980s. If there was a physical benchmark for a perfect No. 8 Reynolds would certainly be in the conversation. Big at 195 cms and 108 kgs, strong, a good jumper in the lineout and mobile, Reynolds was more than adept at lock or on the flank. Unsurprisingly he became a near-automatic choice as the utility forward in several Australian touring teams.
Born in Cumnock and educated at The King’s School, Reynolds came from good stock - his uncle Lionel (Wallaby #114) played two Tests against New Zealand in 1910. From the King’s 1st XV Reynolds proceeded to Mitchell College, Bathurst and from there won selection for the Central West representative team. In 1981 Reynolds played in a Wallaby Selection Trial, Possibles v. Probables and was deemed unlucky not to make the Wallaby tour to the U.K and Ireland.
He toured New Zealand in 1982 but did not play in the Tests with Steve Williams, Duncan Hall and Peter Lucas preferred. His big break came on the three-match tour of Fiji in 1984 with incumbent No.8 Steve Tuynman unavailable due to a broken foot. Tuynman’s absence saw Reynolds make his Test debut in Suva. Reynolds followed that debut with a devastating performance in the opening Test of the Bledisloe Cup series to book his ticket for the ‘Grand Slam’ tour at the end of the year however by that time Tuynman had returned to reclaim the No.8 jersey in each of the Tests.
In 1986 Reynolds toured with the second Australian side to ever win a series on New Zealand soil and a year later he played in the inaugural Rugby World Cup. Ross Reynolds played 10 Tests for Australia in a four-year international career.
Reynolds won his first Test cap at No.8 in the 16-3 one-off Test victory over Fiji in Suva. He also played in each of the three home Tests against New Zealand. Reynolds scored his first Test try in the 16-9, 1st Test win. He was selected on the Wallaby tour to the U.K. and Ireland however Steve Tuynman started in each of the four internationals.
Reynolds played No.8 as Tuynman was shifted to the flank in the two test home series against Fiji.
He started at lock alongside Bill Campbell in the two Tests against Argentina. Reynolds was selected on the Wallaby tour to New Zealand where he played No.8 in the 1st Test, 13-12 win at Athletic Park. Coach Alan Jones shifted strategy for the 2nd Test when he moved Tuynman to the back of the scrum and brought in the quicker Jeff Miller on the flank.
Reynolds won selection to his first Rugby World Cup where he played lock in partnership with Steve Cutler in the 42-23 pool game victory over Japan in Sydney.