Stephen Charles Finnane
- 576Wallaby Number
Steve Finnane was a no-questions-asked, abrasive front row forward who left an indelible mark on Australian rugby history. Born in Sydney, Finnane was educated at Waverley College and then Vaucluse High School from where he earned selection for the Australian Schools tour to South Africa. During his time at Waverley, Finnane won the school’s heavyweight boxing tournament. He played his club rugby with Eastern Suburbs and made his representative debut aged just 19 for Sydney against The Rest in 1972.
Three years later Finnane created a big impression with an energetic display when Sydney shocked England 14-10 just ten days before the start of the Test series. A second solid outing for New South Wales against the tourists was enough to earn Finnane a Test debut in Sydney however an ankle injury forced him to miss the infamous second Test, a.k.a. ‘The Battle of Brisbane’.
Finnane was selected for the Sixth Wallabies tour of Britain and played against England at Twickenham. He continued to front up for Sydney but did not return to the international arena until 1978. When Sydney defeated Wales with Finnane in the front row up against the British Lions props Graham Price and Charlie Faulkner he found himself back in the Test team. Australia won the opening match and selected an unchanged fifteen for the first time in four years for the second Test in Sydney. Five minutes after the opening whistle Finnane and Price clashed at a scrum. The Welshman left the field, blood streaming from his mouth, with a double fracture of the jaw. Australia won the Test and the series however the match will forever be remembered for that one incident in which Finnane was deemed the main protagonist.
He was selected on the Wallaby tour to New Zealand but withdrew for business reasons to end his representative career.
Represented Australian Schools on their tour to South Africa alongside fellow future Wallabies Greg Cornelsen, Jim Hindmarsh and Russell Fairfax.
Finnane won his first Test cap at prop alongside Peter Horton and Stu Macdougall in the 1st Test, 16-9 victory over England in Sydney. He also earned caps in both home Tests against Japan.
Finnane played one Test, again with Horton and Macdougall, in the 6-23 loss to England at Twickenham.
The Wallabies did not play a Test match in 1977.
He started his final two Tests in the front row with Horton and Stan Pilecki for the home series against Wales.