Troy Coker

  • 27Caps
  • 662Wallaby Number
  • 58Age
PositionLock/ Flanker/ No.8
Date Of Birth29 May 1963
Place Of BirthBrisbane
SchoolSt. Paul's School, Brisbane
Debut ClubWestern Districts (Brisbane)
Other ClubsSouthern Districts (Brisbane), Oxford University, Harlequins (ENG), Saracens (ENG)
ProvinceQLD
Other ProvinceACT
Debut Test Match1987 Wallabies v England, Sydney
Final Test Match1997 Wallabies v Argentina, 2nd Test Buenos Aires

Biography

Troy Coker was a modern day rugby troubadour. His motto could easily have read: “Have boots, will play.” An exceptionally versatile forward, he played equally well at number eight, flanker and lock, Coker also had size, strength and mobility that made him a near-perfect choice for any touring squad. Coker played rugby league at St. Paul’s College in Brisbane and then later with Redcliffe where he was coached by Kangaroo legend Arthur Beetson. When he finally turned his hand to rugby he was like a duck to water.

Within a few weeks of his first game he was in the Queensland U18s from where he graduated to two seasons for the Australian U21s. Not yet 22, Coker was the surprise selection for the Wallabies’ 1987 Rugby World Cup squad and he made his Test debut in the tournament opener against England in Sydney. Coker then upped and left Australia to undertake postgraduate study at Oxford where he won rugby Blues in 1988 and again in 1989.

When No.8 rival Tim Gavin was ruled out of calculations for the 1991 Rugby World Cup squad following a disastrous knee injury, Coker found himself on a plane to Ireland and six or so weeks later became a World Champion. In 1995, and selected to a third Rugby World Cup, Coker was marked to play against Canada at Port Elizabeth however he pulled a hamstring at training which disappointingly ended his tournament. Troy Coker played 27 Tests for Australia in an 11-year, six season international career.

Highlights

1983

Represented Australian U21s when they defeated New Zealand U21s 26-18 at Pukekohe

1984

Represented Australian U21s when they defeated New Zealand Colts 12-10 at the S.C.G.

1987

Coker made his Test debut as the starting No.8 in the 19-6 Rugby World Cup pool game victory over England in Sydney. He was moved to lock for the pool game against the U.S.A., switched back to No.8 for the semi-final loss to France and reverted to lock for the third place playoff against Wales. Represented Australia at the Hong Kong 7s

1991

A season ending knee injury to incumbent No.8 Tim Gavin saw Coker picked for the 2nd Test, 3-6 loss to New Zealand in Auckland. He was then selected to a second Rugby World Cup. Coker played in four matches and started the final against England at No.8. Represented Australia at the Hong Kong 7s

1992

With Willie Ofahengaue out injured Coker came into the side for each of the three home Tests against New Zealand. He picked up a fourth cap off the bench on the end-of-season tour against Wales.

1993

Coker played No.6 in the opening two Tests of the season against Tonga and New Zealand. He was then one of four changes for the home series against South Africa following the 10-25 one-off Bledisloe Cup loss in Dunedin.

1995

Coker started at blindside flanker in the 2nd Test, 30-3 victory over Argentina in Sydney. He won selection to a third Rugby World Cup but did not play in the tournament due to a hamstring injury suffered in training ahead of the pool game against Canada. Coker returned to pick up a replacement cap in the 1st Test, 16-28 loss to New Zealand in Auckland.

1997

In his final season of international rugby Coker won a career high 10 caps, eight of which came at No.8. HIs final match was the 16-18, 2nd Test loss to Argentina in Buenos Aires.

Troy Coker