Stirling Austin Mortlock

  • 80Caps
  • 759Wallaby Number
  • 44Age
PositionCentre/Wing
Date Of Birth19 May 1977
Place Of BirthSydney
SchoolThe King's School
Debut ClubGordon
ProvinceACT
Debut Test Match2000 Wallabies v Argentina, Brisbane
Final Test Match2009 Wallabies v South Africa, 1st Test Cape Town

Biography

Stirling Mortlock, widely regarded as one of the hardest running centres in world rugby, enjoyed a stellar international career. A big-match performer of the highest order, Mortlock’s game may have been more power than finesse but he was incredibly consistent and thoroughly dependable.

A Lindfield and Gordon junior, Mortlock attended The King’s School where he played one season in the 1st XV. While he did not represent at schools level Mortlock did play two years with the Australian U21s, the first when they won the South Hemisphere tournament in 1997. National coach Rod Macqueen clearly identified Mortlock’s potential when he was plucked from club rugby for the Wallabies’ 1997 end-of-season tour. While not selected in any of the Tests he played against a Rosario Selection in Rosario and in doing so became an uncapped Wallaby before he had even played a single Super Rugby match.

In 1998 he made his provincial debut for the Brumbies against New South Wales, however a year later was overlooked for the Rugby World Cup squad. When Mortlock finally won his first Test cap, in 2000 against Argentina at Ballymore, he took the rugby world by storm. In just his 3rd Test Mortlock became the fastest Australian to score 50 points and in his sixth match, the fastest to score 100 points. Along the way he was the first Australian to score 20 or more points in four consecutive Tests. In his seventh Test, Mortlock kicked a near-sideline penalty goal against South Africa to win Australia's first Tri Nations crown. In 2006, Mortlock became the 73rd Wallaby to captain his country and a year later led Australia at the 2007 Rugby World Cup.

In 2012 he became a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for his service to rugby.

Stirling Mortlock played 80 Tests for Australia over his nine year international career. He scored 489 Test points, including 29 tries, to sit fifth on the Australia all-time list (as at end-2017)

Highlights

1997

Represented Australian U21s when they won the Southern Hemisphere tournament.

1998

Represented Australian U21s.

2000

Mortlock won his Test cap on the right wing in the 53-6 triumph over Argentina in Brisbane. He started in all 10 Wallaby internationals, the final three at No.12. In the 1st Test against South Africa in Melbourne Mortlock scored 29 points, the all-time record for an individual against the Springboks. He finished the season as the top points scorer with 122.

2001

Mortlock missed the entire international season after he underwent a left shoulder reconstruction.

2002

He started all 10 internationals of the season, eight on the left wing and one each at outside centre and fullback.

2003

A right shoulder injury resulted in Mortlock being unavailable for the domestic Tests and the Tri-Nations. He returned at the Rugby World Cup to win five caps and will forever be remembered for his semi-final man-of-the-match performance and 80-metre intercept try against New Zealand.

2004

Mortlock played 10 Tests, all at No.13.

2005

Mortlock was capped in six of the opening seven Tests before a calf injury brought his season to a premature close.

2006

Mortlock started 12 of the Wallabies’ 13 Tests, 11 in the No.13 jersey, and he finished the year as top points scorer (144). In the 2nd Test against England in Sydney he became the 73rd Wallaby to captain his country. Mortlock won his 50th cap in the 3rd Test, 16-24 loss to South Africa in Johannesburg.

2007

He won 10 Test caps and was selected to captain the Wallabies to his second Rugby World Cup.

2008

Mortlock played and captained Australia in 13 of the year’s 14 Tests.

2009

Mortlock started four of the season’s opening five Tests before he underwent knee surgery to miss the Tri-Nations and then suffered a calf injury that ruled him out of the Spring Tour.

Stirling Austin Mortlock