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)