Stephen Thomas Moore
- 796Wallaby Number
Stephen Moore was one of the great warriors of Australian rugby. Born in Saudi Arabia to Irish parents the graduate of Brisbane Grammar played a remarkable thirteen seasons of international rugby.
While Australia benefited from Moore’s dedication and service it could so easily have been the green of Ireland that he wore with such distinction. Aged 19, Moore faced a career-defining decision when offered the chance to play for the land of his mother and father. "There was a bit of interest there, obviously with my background, but I think at the time my head was spinning about everything," Moore said. "When it came down to it, it wasn't a difficult decision. I had always grown up following Australia and wanting to play for the Wallabies."
Following a 2005 Test debut against Samoa in Sydney, Moore went on to accrue 129 Test caps and end three short of the world record for a hooker held by New Zealand rival Keven Mealamu. He captained his country in 26 Tests and along the way led the Wallabies on a withering run to the 2015 Rugby World Cup final against New Zealand. Only George Gregan, with 139 caps, had played more Tests for Australia.
An interview following his final international on home soil, the 2017, 23-19 3rd Test victory over New Zealand in Brisbane, encapsulated Moore’s selfless attitude to rugby. He said, “It’s very special mate. It’s meant a lot to me to play for my country for so long. It was just a great effort by the players tonight, for our country, not for me. It wasn’t about me it was about the team tonight and everything we were playing for, this [indigenous] jersey, and I couldn’t have asked for a bigger effort.”
Notably 97 of Moore’s 129 Test caps were won as the starting hooker, more than any other player for that position in the history of the game.
In 2019 Moore was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia for “significant service to rugby union, and to charitable organisations.”
Selected in the Australian squad for the second-annual IRB U21 Rugby World Championships in England.
Selected in the Australian squad for the third-annual IRB U21 Rugby World Championships in Scotland.
Moore won his first Test cap off the bench when he replaced Jeremy Paul in the 74-7 victory over Samoa in Sydney. Over the course of the season Moore earned a total of six caps.
He picked up a further three Test caps and along the way earned his first as a member of the starting XV in the 44-15 win over Scotland at Murrayfield.
Moore was elevated to first choice Wallaby hooker as he won 10 caps, nine in the run-on side, from the 12 internationals played throughout the season. He was selected to his first Rugby World Cup squad and played in the 10-12 quarter-final loss to England in Marseille.
He played in all 14 Tests, 13 as a member of the starting side, as the Wallabies began the Robbie Deans’ era with nine wins that included a 34-19, 1st Test victory over New Zealand.
Moore won 13 Test caps as he missed just one international, the 2nd Test against Italy in Melbourne
Moore broke his jaw in the Brumbies' 22-40 Super Rugby loss to the Crusaders. The injury ruled him out of the internationals against Fiji, England and Ireland but he returned to win nine Test caps over the course of the year. He won his 50th Test cap in the historic 41-39, 3rd Test victory over South Africa at Bloemfontein.
Selected to his second Rugby World Cup squad, Moore won 11 caps from a possible 13 Tests. He was in the run-on XV for the 6-20 semi-final loss to eventual champions New Zealand.
A hamstring injury interrupted Moore’s international season however he managed to earn a further 10 Test caps over the course of the 15 international match schedule. When he came off the bench in the 6-33 loss to France in Paris Moore won his 73rd cap to pass Jeremy Paul’s Australian record for a hooker.
Moore started all 15 Wallaby internationals at hooker in what was a mixed year of results for the senior team.
With 92 Test caps to his name Moore was announced as Wallaby captain #81 however his tenure effectively lasted a mere 31 seconds when he ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament and medial ligament in his left knee during the opening minute of the 50-23, 1st Test win over France at Suncorp.
Moore enjoyed a triumphant return to the captaincy, first with a win over arch-rivals New Zealand in Sydney and then when named to lead the Wallabies at the Rugby World Cup. He played in 10 of the season’s 12 internationals and in the 35-34 quarter-final win over Scotland celebrated his 100th Test cap alongside fellow centurion Matt Giteau.
Moore was selected in all 15 Tests and captained the side in the fourteen matches in which he started.
In his final season of international rugby Moore won a further twelve caps from a possible fourteen Tests. Prior to the 2nd Test against New Zealand in Wellington Moore announced his retirement from international rugby at the end of the year.