Rupert George Rosenblum
- 529Wallaby Number
Rupert Rosenblum will always be remembered as a great tactical kicker with a prodigious left boot who split public opinion due to his style of game management. A keen student of the game, Rosenblum developed a style that kept the ball in front of his forwards with judicious kicks down the sidelines. It was not until territorial advantage had been attained that he unleashed his backline. Opposition teams and some representative selectors disagreed with the ploy however Rosenblum’s argument that such a game plan had been highly successful for New Zealand and South Africa did have considerable merit. While the kicking aspect of his play dominated conversation he was also a very skilled, shrewd and calculating fly half.
Born in Sydney and educated at The Scots College, Rosenblum actually played First Grade rugby for Eastern Suburbs while still at school (1959-60). After graduation he enrolled at the University of Sydney to study law, played lower grades in 1961, and made his First Grade debut in 1962. The following year Rosenblum had his first taste of representative rugby when selected for New South Wales against the 1962 Wallabies however he then waited seven long years in the shadow of the great Phil Hawthorne to win national honours.
In 1969 he was selected alongside incumbent fly half John Ballesty for the Wallaby tour to South Africa and made his debut in the 1st Test at Ellis Park. On that day, Rosenblum and his father Myer (Wallaby #250), became the fifth father / son combination to play Test rugby for Australia. Oddly the two fly halves swapped places in each of the remaining three Tests as he selectors appeared to struggle with a consistent strategy. On that tour Rosenblum was also given the honour of captaining his country in the uncapped match against Central Universities at Port Elizabeth.
In 1971, and with Ballesty having switched to league, the selectors opted for Geoff Richardson to play against the touring Springboks in a decision that effectively ended Rosenblum’s international career.
Rosenblum won his first Test cap at fly half alongside John Hipwell in the 1st Test, 11-30 defeat to South Africa at Ellis Park. John Ballesty came in for the 2nd Test before Rosenblum started in the 3rd Test, 3-11 loss at Newlands.
He played his final Test outside Hipwell in the 23-3 victory over Scotland at the S.C.G.