Timothy Patrick Kelaher
- 701Wallaby Number
Tim Kelaher was yet another product from St Joseph’s College, Hunters Hill -- Australia’s great rugby nursery. A strong running fullback who was versatile enough to play wing or centre, Kelaher was safe in the air, sound in defence, and when he came into the line he proved to be a genuine threat.
He played in the SJC 1st XV premiership winning sides of 1988 and, as captain, in 1989. Kelaher won selection for Australian Schools, joined the Eastwood club where he stayed for just one season, and then linked up with Randwick in 1991.
A year later Kelaher debuted for New South Wales against Canterbury however it was his performance for the Waratahs against New Zealand seven weeks later that earned him a first Test cap, against the All Blacks, in Sydney. Kelaher was then taken on the first Wallaby tour of South Africa in 23 years and the end-of-season short tour of the U.K.
Tim Kelaher played three Tests for Australia in his two-year international career.
Represented Australian Schools
Kelaher won his first Test cap as the starting fullback in the 1st Test, 16-15 win over New Zealand in Sydney. He picked up his second cap when he replaced Michael Lynagh at fly half, but switched to No.13, in the 42-17 defeat of Ireland at Lansdowne Road. Kelaher also represented Australia at the Hong Kong Sevens.
Kelaher played his final Test from fullback in the one-off 10-25 Bledisloe Cup loss to New Zealand in Dunedin. He was selected to start in the first Test of the home series against South Africa however the day before the match he woke in excruciating pain and began both vomiting and passing blood. Extensive tests confirmed a duodenal ulcer was bleeding and Kelaher unsurprisingly withdrew. Surgery forced Kelaher to miss the entire Springbok series as well as the end-of-season tour to Canada and France.