Kangaroos vs Kiwis by the numbers – with a twist

Here’s a weird and totally useless little article to ponder as you plan for the day ahead. A team of Australia Test players where the shirt number they wore for Australia, on at least one occasion, matches the total number of Tests they played for Australia.

I warned you it was weird and unnecessary.

1. Brett Stewart

It’s hard to believe a player with Stewart’s talent has only played one Test match, and that was in 2007 when he wore the No.1 shirt in the 58-0 defeat of the Australia versus New Zealand.

2. Larry Corowa

The Balmain speedster played in two Tests against Great Britain in the 1979 Ashes series, scoring a try.

3. Chris Close

Despite being a Queensland-born institution, he only tasted Test football three times, and all of those appearances came in the 1985 series against New Zealand where he partnered to Mal Meninga in the crosses in the first two Tests, before coming off the bench in the third Test. .

4. Dylan Walker

The then Souths center was in fine form in 2014 when he was selected to play for Australia in all four games of the Four Nations tournament.

(Photo by Matt Roberts/Getty Images)

5. Akuila Uate

The Newcastle flier scored two tries on his debut for Australia against New Zealand and went on to play two more tries against the Kiwis and two against England.

6. Cliff Lyons

There were very good five-eighths when Lyon were at their peak in the early 1990s, and that saw their Test career limited to just six games, the first of which came in the second Test of the 1990 Ashes series.

7. Marc Murray

The tough little Queenslander played the first three of his seven Tests either on the bench or five-eights before finally grabbing shirt 7 alongside Wally Lewis in the first Test of the 1984 Ashes series.

8. Jordan McLean

McLean has played eight Tests, losing just one, but has only worn shirt 8 once, and that was in the 2017 World Cup game against France.

9. George Peponis

The Canterbury hooker has played nine Tests for Australia, including five unbeaten Tests as captain.

10. John O’Neill

The South Sydney and Manly enforcer played ten Tests for Australia but only wore the 10 shirt once, and that was against France in 1973 when he packed up with John Lang and Arthur Beetson ranked first in Australia.

11. Gary Stevens

Stevens was a tough player and one of the best defenders in the game. He played 11 Tests for Australia after making his Test debut on the bench against New Zealand in the 1972 World Cup.

12. Matt Gillet

Gillett was one of the best back rowers to come out of Queensland and played 20 origins for the Maroons. He wore the 12 shirt in each of his 12 Test matches.

13. Corey Parker

The Queensland legend played hard on his Test debut for Australia against Wales in the 2011 Four Nations tournament.

Definitely a useful team with a good backbone, a solid pack and plenty of punching power. All they need now is someone to play against, so here’s a Kiwi Test team chosen using the same criteria.

1. Anthony Smith

He had only one test for New Zealand and that was their 1962 victory over Great Britain at Carlaw Park by 19 points to nil.

2. Dick Uluave

He wore the 2 shirt on his Test debut against Great Britain in 1975 and crossed over for one of New Zealand’s two Tests.

3. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad

Best known in the NRL as a dynamic full-back for the Raiders, he wore the 3 shirt in each of his three tests for New Zealand.

Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad

Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad (Photo by Jason McCawley/Getty Images)

4. Iva Ropati

A rugby league journeyman who wore shirts 3, 4 and 14 in his four Tests for New Zealand.

5. Jamayne Isaako

A practical outside back and goal kicker still plying his trade in the NRL who has worn the 5 shirt in four of his five Tests.

6. Arthur Kay

We had to go back to the 1930s to find Arthur, who played five-eights, wing and center in his Test career.

7. Bob Irvine

A great little Kiwi halfback from the mid-1960s who played six of his seven Tests with No. 7 on his back.

8. Adrian Shelford

A teak-hard forward rower who spent his best years in the UK and died far too young at just 39.

9. Monty Betham

A tough Kiwi man who played just one of his nine Tests at hooker, when New Zealand beat Australia by 30 to 16 in 2003.

10. Patrick Smith

A New Zealand stalwart in the front row in the post-World War II years after quitting rugby union.

11. Matt Rua

A former center who forged a solid career with Melbourne and played 11 Tests for New Zealand at the turn of the century.

12. Alex Glenn

A loyal and very good back rower for the Broncos who played only one of his 12 tests in the 12 jersey.

13. Bronson Harrison

Played just one of his 13 Tests from the back of the scrum and it was his first Test in 2005 when the Kiwis lost the winners 38-22.

The Kiwis also offer a practical side, and remember that each team played exactly the same number of Tests.

Who wins?

My Australian bias says the Kangaroos win this one because they have way too much star power for the Kiwis.

Sports Grp2

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