Stuart Carlton Gregory
- 520Wallaby Number
Stu Gregory had pure, natural athletic ability which made him an outstanding lineout jumper. During his six years with the Wallabies, Gregory proved himself one of the world’s premier lineout forwards among the likes of Colin Meads, Frik du Preez, Willie John McBride, Peter Stagg, Benoit Dauga and John Williams. Conspicuous in the scrum cap that he always wore, Gregory was also a fine all-round player with an excellent physique for the lock position. He attended Brisbane Boys’ College and played in the 1st XV where he caught the attention of Paul Mooney, then coach/selector of the Queensland U19s. After graduation he was drafted into Mooney’s squad and from there went on to make his Queensland debut against Ireland in 1967.
The following year New Zealand toured Australia who, with the retirements of Ross Teitzel and Mick Purcell, were in search of promising locks. Gregory was outstanding in the Maroons’ 3-34 loss to the All Blacks and earned himself a spot in the reserves for the opening Test. When Tony Abrahams was a late withdrawal from the 2nd Test in Brisbane due to a rib injury, Gregory was called in for his international debut. At the end of the 1968 season Gregory was chosen for his first Wallaby tour, to Ireland and Scotland. The following year Gregory toured South Africa where every match was a hard, physical confrontation against massive forward packs and he played in two of the four Tests.
When South Africa arrived to begin their anti-apartheid demonstration ridden tour of Australia in 1917, Gregory found that he was the only genuine jumper in the side and while he had a storming first half in the opening Test the Springboks nullified his presence when they simply threw away from him in the final forty minutes. At the end of the season, Gregory toured France before he took a year off to travel and missed the unsuccessful away series against New Zealand. Upon his return he fought his way back into the Test squad and enjoyed his final tour, to Wales and England, in late 1973. Gregory then decided to retire from representative rugby for business reasons at the age of 27.
Stuart Gregory played 16 Tests for Australia in a six-year international career.
Gregory won his first Test cap at lock alongside Peter Reilly in the 2nd Test, 18-19 loss to New Zealand at Ballymore. He and Reilly were then paired for the 11-10 win against France at the S.C.G., the 3-10 defeat to Ireland at Lansdowne Road and the 3-9 loss to Scotland at Murrayfield.
Gregory earned two caps against South Africa, the first with Owen Butler in the 1st Test, 11-30 loss at Ellis Park and the second in the 3rd Test, 3-11 defeat at Cape Town.
He started four of the Wallabies’ five Tests against South Africa (2) and France (2).
Gregory was partnered with Reg Smith in the two home Tests against France.
In his final season of international rugby Gregory played all four Tests - Tonga (2), Wales and England - alongside Garrick Fay.