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You are here: Home » To 1989-90 Wallaby Peter FitzSimons
This Ten Questions idea is to ask a leading rugby personality; either a player, from the the media or an administrator some questions which may prompt a response from them which we have not heard of before;
Peter, or 'Fitz' as he is widely known generously replied to me while on holiday in France. So typical of a very nice man. His Saturday and Sunday 'FitzFiles' columns in the Sydney Morning Herald are a must to read! His many books are too!
PETER FITZSIMONS: The former Wallaby rugby international forward is now much better known as a prolific writer of biographies and historical works. He lives on Sydney's north shore and readily agreed to respond to KeithQuinnRugby.com's questions.
Dennis Lillee and John Newcombe. I dreamed of opening the bowling for Australia, and winning Wimbledon. True, I achieved neither, but I did once get a very useful 2 wickets for 8 for the Knox Grammar School's Under14 C team, and I also once took a set off Julian Lovell in Fifth Form. And he went on to be AT LEAST one of the top ten tennis players of the Sixth Form at Knox Grammar.
As I write this my wife and I are heading to Donzenac, a little village north of Brive, France where I played rugby for four years in the 1980s. We go back every year. This year we are in a buying mood, for a little house atop a hill, overlooking 'Donza.'
Lack of generosity of spirit.
I have no superstitions, which includes no belief in any religions. I find the likelihood of there being a Magic Sky Daddy up there - of any description - to be literally beyond belief. I have had many discussions on this subject with Nick Farr-Jones and he is mad. Do you hear me? MAD!
My proudest achievements, and greatest are two distinct things. I remain tragically proud of being the only Wallaby sent from the field against the All Blacks for violence. My greatest achievement is to have written 25 books in the last 25 years, not all of them colouring in books.
My late mother's notebook, where she put down her thoughts on various things, for over 70 years.
A just completed book, three happy children, a happy wife, and being on my way back to Donzenac with her. How funny I should say that...!
I have books that have sold really well in Australia, New Zealand, South Korea and Holland, and sold reasonably well in UK and USA. But I have never had a dinkum international best seller, and I want one! My best chance is the world discovering just how extraordinary the saga of the shipwreck of the BATAVIA is, off the west coast of Australia in 1629. Please buy it and TELL EVERYONE!
One is; "There is no problem so great that enough gin 'n tonics can't fix them in the short term!' And...'The Art of Writing is the Art of Rewriting!'
Stern criticism of the 'elite' International Rugby Board was offered by USA Rugby Chairman Bob Watkins at the Asian Pacific Rugby Congress in Hong Kong, leading to the eventual expansion of the IRB from only eight countries to the over 130 nations today.
Leicester, Harlequins and England
31 internationals for England 1920–27
William Wavell Wakefield was a highly successful player, thinker, innovator and captain. He became one of the world game’s best administrators, becoming an England committeeman before rising to be president of the Rugby Football Union in 1950. He served as a delegate on the International Rugby Board for the seven years up until 1961 and wrote extensively about the game, in his later years becoming a symbol of wise counsel for amateur rugby and its future.
The young Wavell Wakefield was a supremely fit rugby player, winning his 31 international caps as a flanker, lock or No. 8. He first played for England in 1920, when a strong Welsh side thrashed him and 10 other new caps. The selectors persevered with many of the new players, and out of their rising confidence came one of England’s best eras.
The England team, with Wakefield, the brilliant halfbacks ‘Dave’ Davies and Cyril Kershaw, Cyril Lowe the wing, and forwards Tom Voyce and Ronald Cove-Smith, combined to win the Five Nations crown three times in the first four years of the 1920s.
Wakefield played his first 21 internationals consecutively, winning 17 times with one draw. By 1927, when he was hampered by injuries, the highly popular and respected ‘Wakers’ had reached 31 caps – an England record for any position and one that stood until 1969, when it was passed by D.P. ‘Budge’ Rogers.
Wakefield is often remembered as one of England’s best captains and tactical planners. As captain of Cambridge University and England, he insisted on each member of the forward pack undertaking set roles, rather than plodding together from set piece to set piece, as had been the style.
Under his leadership, England’s back row combinations became the first in the world to work together as a ‘team’, which is commonplace in modern times. Certainly he was highly successful. In his seven seasons in the England team he took part in three championship wins, three Triple Crowns and three Grand Slams. It is a tribute to him that those years came to be known in English rugby as the ‘Wakefield Era’.
After his active rugby days he was a Member of Parliament and then became the first Baron Wakefield of Kendal. He died in 1983.
Which prominent All Black back didn't play a test till after his 30th birthday?