Roger Gould - Australia - Biography of his International rugby career.

Photo/Foto: George Herringshaw

Date: 01 January 1980

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      Thursday, 04 April 1957
      Brisbane, Australia
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Roger GOULD - Australia - Biography of his International rugby career.

Stars such as David Campese and Mark Ella may have grabbed the headlines, but the rock on which Australia's successes in the mid 1980s were built was long limbed fullback Roger Gould. Tall, strong and mentally resilient, Roger's career spanned seven years, during which time he won 25 caps and scored 86 points. The enigmatic Alan Jones, Australia's coach for much of that period, was so convinced of Gould's importance to the side that he was to bring him out of international exile in 1984 stating he was "Just a remarkable lynch pin in all our endeavours." If the Queenslander had a weakness it was his tendency to be injury prone, and but for many setbacks of this nature he would have won many more caps and perhaps have joined his contempary Simon Poidevin in landing a world cup medal in 1991. He was also one of the last players to use the outmoded "toe end" style of goal kicking, and this lead to occasional lapses with the boot, notably against the All Blacks in 1984.


Roger's first taste of the international scene came in 1978, at the age of 21, when he was picked for the tour to New Zealand, but injury and illness prevented him from making his debut. His chance eventually came two years later and he played superbly in the first test against the All Blacks. Indeed, Roger appeared so relaxed and in control during the game that he might have easily been heading out for a lazy day in the surf rather than a blood and guts encounter against the fiercest opponents in world rugby. With Australia's new look back line hitting peak form and Gould's mighty clearance kicks reaching the heavens, the Wallabies took the game 13-9. Roger's summing up of his debut was like the man, modest and uncomplicated: "We just went out there and played the footie - a few things came off." The series was won 2-1, a perfect way for Australia to start the decade. (Jon Collins)


















Roger Gould pictured playing for Australia on Wednesday November 4th. 1981.

Photograph George Herringshaw.  ©


                                                       (Part 2) 1981 - 1982.


Roger Gould played no part in Australia's impressive series win over France in 1981 due to injury, but was named in the squad to tour the UK in the winter. The Wallabies record in Britain through the 1970s had been very poor, but this time expectations were high, with captain Tony Shaw predicting that his side would win the Grand Slam. However, inclement conditions, bad luck and a weaknesss up front meant that the Australian's won only one test, despite scoring more tries than their opponents in each game. Roger played in the first three matches, but was dropped in favour of fellow Queenslander Paul McClean for the 15-11 defeat by England. Back in Australia, both McClean and Gould were left on the bench for the first test against Scotland in Brisbane, their places taken by the Sydney based Ella brothers, Mark and Glen. With their two favourite sons missing out, the partisan home fans jeered the brothers every time they made a mistake, an attitude that shocked both Roger and Paul who believed the national cause was far more important than petty inter state rivalries.


Australia lost the match, but the two Queenslanders enjoyed a triumphant return for the second test, scoring 29 of Australia's 33 point haul between them, including a brace of tries for Roger. The next port of call was New Zealand for a defence of the Bledisloe Cup. Roger was a dominant figure in Australia's inexperienced side and scored a stunning try in the third test within a minute of the kick-off. He was also subjected to some fierce intimidation by the opposition in that match, particularly from legendary All Black hard man Mark Shaw. In keeping with former Wallaby coach Dave Brockhoff's famous "Step Forward" philosophy, Roger showed his character by giving Shaw as good as he got, but the match was lost, and with it the Bledisloe Cup. (Jon Collins)