Steven Norman Tuynman
- 638Wallaby Number
Steve Tuynman was a dynamic, powerhouse of a No.8 who was an integral part of the Wallaby successes of the mid-1980s. Blessed with pace, he was a powerful runner, a punishing defender with an excellent work rate who also had beautiful hands for such a big man. Athletic and extremely skilful, Tuynman dominated the tail of the lineout and he was also the perfect link man.
Educated at Hunters Hill High School in Sydney’s inner-west, Tuynman was a schoolboy rugby phenomenon. Following three years in the NSW Schools’ team, he captained the unbeaten Australian Schools side to Britain and Ireland in 1981-82.
In May, 1982 he made his senior representative debut, for New South Wales against Waikato and then just two months later, at barely 19 years of age, he was named in the Wallaby squad to tour New Zealand. Because of his accelerated promotion to the big time, it was always going to be a steep learning curve at international level for the gifted youngster however he handled the step-up with great aplomb.
In 1983 Tuynman was selected on the 11-match tour of Italy and France where he made his Test debut against the French at Clermont-Ferrand. In the second Test six days later Tuynman had his nose smashed and his ear all but torn from his head. A year later Tuynman starred on the ‘Grand Slam’ tour of the U.K. and Ireland and started at No.8 when the Australian eight shunted the Welsh scrum over their line to score the much-famed pushover try. Tuynman’s ball skills and pace were on show in the final Test against Scotland when he ranged up outside David Campese to take his pass, break up the sideline and then toss an overhead pass infield to set Campese on the way for a 60 metre sprint to the line.
In 1986 Tuynman was a key member of the first Australian team to win a three Test series on New Zealand soil. During that series Tuynman was involved in a decisive moment during the crucial second Test with the Wallabies trailing 9-13 inside the final ten minutes. From an attacking scrum Nick Farr-Jones broke wide on the blindside and popped an inside pass to Tuynman who appeared to drive over the line with the aid of flanker Jeff Miller and score the tying try. Welsh referee Derek Bevan controversially ruled against the score and later claimed that there were too many hands on the ball to see if the try was scored cleanly. New Zealand hung on to win 13-12 and send the series to a decider in Auckland.
Tuynman will be remembered as a schoolboy prodigy who rose to the highest echelons of the game and more than fulfilled his enormous potential.
Steve Tuynman played 34 Tests for Australia in an eight-year international career.
Captained the undefeated Australian Schools team on their tour of the U.K. and Ireland.
Represented Australian U21s against Fiji U21 (47-4) at Ballymore and New Zealand U21 (36-12) at the S.C.G.
Captained Australian U21s when they defeated New Zealand U21s 26-18 at Pukekohe. Tuynman won his first Test cap at No.8 in the 15-15, 1st Test draw with France at Clermont-Ferrand. Six days later he picked up a second cap alongside Simon Poidevin and Chris Roche in the 2nd Test 6-15 loss in Paris.
Tuynman missed both the tour of Fiji after he fractured a bone in his foot and the home series against New Zealand due to a lack of game time as a result of that foot injury but started at No.8 in each of the four Grand Slam internationals. He scored his first Test try, the famous pushover try, in the 28-3 victory over Wales at Cardiff Arms Park. Tuynman captained the Australian U21s when they defeated New Zealand Colts 12-10 at the S.C.G.
Tuynman started all five Tests, the first three at No.8 and the final two against Fiji on the flank with Ross Reynolds selected at the back of the scrum. Represented Australia at the Hong Kong 7s.
He played each of the seven Tests, six at No.8 and one on the flank - the 1st Test, 13-12 win over New Zealand in Wellington. Represented Australia at the Hong Kong 7s.
Tuynman earned nine caps from the Wallabies’ 10 Tests, eight of which came as the starting No.8. He was selected to his first Rugby World Cup and played in five of Australia’s six matches. Tuynman missed the crucial semi-final loss to France due to a corked thigh he picked up in the quarter-final against Ireland. Represented Australia at the Hong Kong 7s.
He missed the entire domestic Test season due to a stress fracture and a bulging disc in his lower back but returned for the northern hemisphere tour where he played against England and Italy. Represented Australia at the Hong Kong 7s.
Tuynman was capped in each of the three Tests against the Lions and in the one-off Bledisloe Cup Test but missed the tour to Canada and France after he ruptured the posterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. Represented Australia at the Hong Kong 7s.
In his final season of international rugby Tuyman was unavailable for the domestic Tests due to a grade two cruciate ligament tear of his left knee but picked up a single cap in the 1st Test, 6-21 loss to New Zealand in Christchurch.