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Simon Poidevin

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Simon Poidevin

Rugby player


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Simon Paul Poidevin OAM (born 31 October 1958) is a former Australian rugby union player.


Simon Poidevin Controversial sports scientist Stephen Dank was involved

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Early life

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Born in Goulburn, New South Wales, Poidevin played rugby at St Patrick's College (now Trinity Catholic College) in New South Wales, and made the Australian Schoolboy side. Upon finishing school he played a season with the Goulburn Rugby Union Football Club and then, in 1978, he moved to Sydney to study at the University of New South Wales, from which he graduated in 1983 with a Bachelor of Science (Hons). He made his first grade debut with the university's rugby union team in 1978. In 1982 he moved clubs to Randwick, the famous Galloping Greens, home of the Ella brothers and many other Wallabies.

New South Wales

Simon Poidevin Greatest Rugby World Cup XV blindside flanker profiles

In 1979 Poidevin made his state debut for New South Wales, replacing an injured Greg Craig for New South Wales’ return match against Queensland at T.G. Milner Field. Queensland defeated New South Wales 24-3. Following this match, Poidevin failed to achieve national selection for the 1979 Australia rugby union tour of Argentina.



In 1980 Poidevin went on his first overseas rugby tour with the University of NSW to the west coast of North America. The tour included games against the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Stanford, UCLA, Long Beach State and Berkeley.


Following the 1980 University of NSW tour to the west coast of America, Poidevin achieved selection for the Sydney rugby team coached by former Wallaby Peter Crittle. Shortly following this selection, the Sydney rugby side completed a brief tour to New Zealand, that included matches against Waikato, Thames Valley and Auckland. Sydney won all three games, including a 17-9 victory over Auckland. After returning to Australia from New Zealand, Poidevin participated in three preparatory matches Sydney played against Victoria, the ACT and the President’s XV – all won convincingly by Sydney. Poidevin then played in Sydney’s seventh game of their 1980 season against NSW Country, won 66-3. Poidevin popped the AC joint in his shoulder in the match against NSW Country when Country forward Ross Reynolds fell on top of him while he was at the bottom of a ruck. Due to this injury, Poidevin missed the interstate match between New South Wales and Queensland in 1980, which New South Wales won 36-20 – their first victory over Queensland since 1975.

Australia rugby union tour of Fiji

Shortly following Sydney’s win against NSW Country, Poidevin achieved national selection for the 1980 Australia rugby union tour of Fiji. Poidevin concealed his shoulder injury, sustained in the Sydney match against NSW Country, from the Australian team management, so he could play for Australia.

Poidevin made his Australian debut in the Wallabies’ first provincial match of the tour against Western Unions on 17 May 1980, which Australia won 25-11. Poidevin played in Australia’s second game against Eastern Unions, won 46-14.

Poidevin made his Test debut for Australia following these two provincial matches against Fiji on 24 May 1980, won by Australia 22-9.

1980 Bledisloe Cup Test Series

Following the 1980 Australia rugby union tour of Fiji, Poidevin played in six consecutive matches against the New Zealand All Blacks – for Australian Universities, Sydney, NSW and in three Tests for the Australia Wallabies.

Poidevin played in the first match of the 1980 New Zealand rugby union tour of Australia and Fiji for Sydney against New Zealand, which was drawn 13-13. Shortly thereafter he played for New South Wales against New Zealand in the All Blacks fifth match of the tour. New Zealand won the game 12-4.

Poidevin played in Australia’s first Test of the 1980 Bledisloe Cup against New Zealand, won 13-9 by the Wallabies. Australia lost the second Test 9-12 in which Poidevin sustained a cut on his face after being rucked across the head by All Black Gary Knight.

Poidevin played for Australian Universities in New Zealand’s 10th match of the tour, which was lost 3-33.

However, Poidevin played in the third and deciding Test of the 1980 Bledisloe Cup – his sixth consecutive match played against New Zealand in 1980 – won 26-10.

The series victory over New Zealand in 1980 was the first time Australia had ever retained the Bledisloe Cup, which they had won in 1979 in a one-off Test. It was the first three-Test series victory Australia had ever achieved over New Zealand since 1949, and the first three-Test series they had won against New Zealand on Australian soil since 1934.


In 1981 Poidevin toured Japan with the Australian Universities rugby union team. Australian Universities won four games against Japan’s university teams, but lost the final game against All Japan by one point.


Following his brief tour of Japan, Poidevin was selected for the Sydney team to play against a World XV that included players such as New Zealand’s Bruce Robertson, Hika Reid and Andy Haden, Wales’ Graham Price, Argentina’s Alejandro Iachetti and Hugo Porta and Australia’s Mark Loane. The game ended in a 16-16 draw.

Following this match Sydney undertook a procession of representative games that included playing Queensland at Ballymore. Sydney’s unbeaten steak of 14 games was broken by Queensland after they defeated Sydney 30-4, scoring four tries. Sydney then lost to New Zealand side Canterbury before responding by defeating Auckland and NSW Country – both games were played at Redfern Oval.

New South Wales

Poidevin was then selected to play for New South Wales in a succession of the matches in 1981. The first match against Manawatu was won 58-3, with NSW scoring 10 tries. Victories over Waikato and Counties followed, before New South Wales were defeated by Queensland 26-15 at the Sydney Cricket Ground. New South Wales played Queensland in a return match a week later in Brisbane that was won 7-6.

1981 France rugby union tour of Australia

Poidevin played for Sydney against France in the third game France played for their 1981 France rugby union tour of Australia, won by Sydney 16-14. Poidevin then played for New South Wales against France for the fifth match of France’s Australia tour, lost 12-21.

Poidevin achieved national selection for the two-Test series against France, despite competition for backrow positions in the Australian team. The first Test against France marked the first time Poidevin played with Australian eightman Mark Loane and contained the first try Poidevin scored at international Test level. In his biography For Love Not Money, written with Jim Webster, Poidevin recalls that:

The first France Test at Ballymore held special significance for me because I was playing alongside Loaney for the first time. In my eyes he was something of a god, and I guess my feeling was the same as a young actor getting a bit part in a movie with Dustin Hoffman. Loaney was a huge inspiration, and I tailed him around the field hoping to feed off him whenever he made one of those titanic bursts where he’d split the defence wide open with his unbelievable strength and speed.Sticking to him in that Test paid off handsomely, because Loaney splintered the Frenchmen in one charge, gave to me and I went for the line for all I was worth. I saw Blanco coming at me out of the corner of my eye, but was just fast enough to make the corner for my first Test try. I walked back with the whole of the grandstand yelling and cheering. God and Loaney had been good to me.”

Poidevin played in Australia’s second Test against France in Sydney, won by Australia 24-14, giving Australia a 2-0 series victory.

1981–82 Australia rugby union tour of Britain and Ireland

In mid-August 1981 the ARFU held trials to choose a team for the 1981–82 Australia rugby union tour of Britain and Ireland. However, Poidevin was unavailable for these trials after breaking his thumb in a second division club game for the University of New South Wales against Drummoyne. Despite missing the trials, Poidevin still obtained selection for the Seventh Wallabies to tour the Home Nations.

Poidevin played in 13 matches of the 24-game tour, which included all four Tests and provincial matches against Munster (lost 6-15) and North and Midlands (won 36-6).

Poidevin played in Australia’s Test victory over Ireland, won 16-12 (Australia’s only victory on tour). Australia lost the second Test on tour against Wales 13-18 in what Poidevin later described as “one of the greatest disappointments I’ve experienced in Rugby.” The Wallabies then lost their third Test on tour against Scotland 24-15. The final Test against England was lost 11-15.


Poidevin commenced 1982 by switching Sydney club teams, leaving the University of New South Wales for Randwick. In For Love Not Money Poidevin explained that, "University of NSW had spent the previous two seasons in second division and I very much wanted to play my future club football each week at an ultra-competitive level, so that there wasn’t that huge jump I used to experience going from club to representative ranks." Shortly thereafter Poidevin played in the first Australian club championship between Randwick and Brothers, opposing his former Australian captain Tony Shaw. Randwick won the game 22-13.

Later in the year, Poidevin won his first Sydney premiership with Randwick in their 21-12 victory over Warringah, in which Poidevin scored two tries.


In 1982 Poidevin played rugby union for Sydney under new coach Peter Fenton after Peter Crittle was elevated to coach of New South Wales. Poidevin commenced Sydney’s 1982 rugby season with warm-up watches against Victoria and the ACT, before travelling to Fiji, where New South Wales defeated Fiji 21-18. A week later, Sydney defeated Queensland 25-9. The Queensland side featured many players who had played (or would play) for the Wallabies – Stan Pilecki, Duncan Hall, Mark Loane, Tony Shaw, Michael Lynagh, Michael O'Connor, Brendan Moon, Andrew Slack, and Paul McLean. Poidevin was then named captain of Sydney for their next game against NSW Country (won 43-3), after Sydney captain Michael Hawker withdrew with an injury.

In 1982 the Scotland national rugby union team toured Australia and lost their third provincial game to Sydney 13-22. However, Poidevin's autobiography does not state whether he played in that game.

New South Wales

Poidevin continued to play for New South Wales in 1982, and travelled to New Zealand for a three-match tour with the team now coached by former Wallaby Peter Crittle and containing a new manager – future Australian coach Alan Jones. New South Wales won their first match against Waikato 43-21, their second match against Taranaki 14-9, and their third and final match against Manawatu 40-13.

Following the tour to New Zealand, Sydney played in a match against a World XV. However, due to several European players withdrawing, the World XV’s forward pack was comprised mainly of New Zealand forwards, including Graham Mourie, Andy Haden, Billy Bush and Hika Reid. Sydney won the game 31-13 with several of its players sustaining injuries. Poidevin was severely rucked across the forehead in the game and required several stitches to conceal the wound he sustained. All Black Andy Haden was later confronted by Poidevin at the post-match reception, where he denied culpability. Poidevin would later write that, "All evidence then seemed to point to [Billy] Bush, who was the other prime suspect. But years later Mourie told me that he had been shocked at the incident and, being captain, he spoken to Haden about it at the time. Haden’s response? He accused the captain of getting soft." Public calls were made for an injury into the incident, with NSW Manager Alan Jones a prominent advocate for Poidevin. However, no action was taken. Poidevin would later write that with examination of videos and judiciary committees “the culprit(s) concerned would have spent a very long time out of the game.”

Following NSW’s game against the World XV, the team was set to play two interstate games against Queensland – both scheduled to be played in Queensland to celebrate the Queensland Rugby Union’s centenary year. Queensland won the first game 23-16. Following an injury to New South Wales captain Mark Ella in the first game, Poidevin was made captain of the team for the first time in his career for the second game, lost 7-41 to Queensland.

Following the interstate series against Queensland, the Scotland national rugby union team toured Australia for the 1982 Scotland rugby union tour of Australia, which included two Tests. With eightman Mark Loane likely to be selected for the Australian team, Poidevin was faced with strong competition for the remaining two backrow positions at breakaway, with Tony Shaw, Gary Pearse, Peter Lucas and Chris Roche, all vying for national selection.

Prior to New South Wales' provincial game against Scotland, a newspaper headline read "Poidevin Needs a Blinder". Scotland defeated New South Wales 31-7, and Poidevin missed-out on national selection, with newly appointed Australian coach Bob Dwyer selecting Queenslanders Chris Roche and Tony Shaw for the remaining backrow positions. This was the first time Poidevin was dropped from the Australia national rugby union team.

1982 Australia rugby union tour of New Zealand

After missing out on national selection for the two-Test series against Scotland, Poidevin regained his spot in the Australian side for the 1982 Australia rugby union tour of New Zealand, after 10 Australian players (nine of them from Queensland) announced that for professional and personal reasons they were withdrawing from the tour.

The Australian side surprised rugby pundits with their early success, winning all five provincial games in the lead-up to the first Test. However, Australia lost the first Test to New Zealand 23-16 in Christchurch. Poidevin would later remark that: "Out on the field it felt like a real flogging, and personally I'd been well outplayed by their skipper Graham Mourie, a player of great intelligence and an inspiring leader."

Australia won the second Test 19-16 in what Poidevin would later call "one of the most courageous victories by any of the Australian sides with which I've been associated." Australia held a 19-3 halftime lead. From there Poidevin recalled that:

Then we hung on against a massive All Black finishing effort. The harder they came at us, the more determinedly we cut them down in their tracks. We were desperate and we fought desperately. In the last 30 seconds of the game, I dived onto a loose ball and the All Blacks swarmed over me and Peter Lucas and we knew that if the ball went back out way we'd win the Test, and when Luco and I saw it heading back out side we actually started laughing with joy. We all began embracing and congratulating each other in highly emotional scenes. Against all odds, we'd beaten the All Blacks and suddenly had a chance to retain the Bledisloe Cup.

However, Australia would go on to lose the third and series-deciding Test to the All Blacks 33-18. Despite this, the tour was deemed a success for Australia, with the team scoring 316 points, including 47 tries on tour.

Following the tour, Poidevin played in another Queensland Rugby Union centenary game between the Barbarians and Queensland.


Poidevin commenced his 1987 rugby season by participating in the annual Hong Kong Sevens tournament in April. With Alan Jones as coach and David Campese as captain, Australia were defeated by Fiji in the semi-final, after trailing 14-0 after five minutes of play, before going on to lose 14-8.

Following the Hong Kong Sevens, Poidevin participated in the NSW Sevens at Concord Oval. Australia defeated Western Samoa, Korea and the Netherlands on the first day, before beating Tonga in the quarter-final and Korea in the semi-final. Australia then defeated New Zealand in the final 22-12, in what Poidevin later described as “one of the most satisfying and gutsy [victories] that I’ve been associated with in an Australian team.”

New South Wales

During the 1987 Hong Kong Sevens Poidevin was informed via telex message that he had been removed as captain of the New South Wales team and replaced by Nick Farr-Jones by new coach Paul Dalton.

Following his removal as captain of New South Wales, Poidevin played in the 1987 South Pacific Championship. New South Wales won three of the tournament’s five matches – a victory of Canterbury (25-24), a 18-19 loss to Auckland, a 23-20 victory of Fiji, a 40-15 win over Wellington, and a 6-17 loss to Queensland.

Following the 1987 Rugby World Cup, Poidevin played in one more match for New South Wales against Queensland at Concord Oval in Sydney, won 21-19.

1987 Rugby Union World Cup

Poidevin played in a preparatory match for the 1987 Rugby World Cup for Australia against Korea, won 65-18.

He then played in Australia’s opening World Cup match against England, won 19-6.

Poidevin was rested for Australia’s second World Cup pool game against the United States.

Poidevin returned for Australia’s next pool match against Japan, his 43rd Test cap for Australia, giving him the record for most international Tests played for Australia, surpassing the record previously held by Australian hooker Peter Johnson (1959-1971). Australia defeated Japan 42-23. To commemorate Poidevin breaking the record for most Test appearances for Australia, Australian captain Andrew Slack gave the Australian captaincy to Poidevin for this Test - the third time Poidevin captained Australia.

Poidevin then played in Australia ‘s quarter-final Test against Ireland in what rugby journalist Greg Campbell, writing for The Australian, called ‘one of Australia’s best, well-controlled and most dominant opening 25 minutes of rugby ever seen.’ Following a half-time lead of 24-0, Australia went on to defeat Ireland 33-15.

Poidevin played in Australia’s semi-final match against France, lost 24-30. In For Love Not Money Poidevin wrote that, “That semi-final has been described as one of the finest games in the history of Rugby football. It had everything. Power, aggression, skills, finesse, speed, atmosphere and reams of excitement.”

Poidevin finished his 1987 Rugby World Cup campaign in a 21-22 loss to Wales.

Following the 1987 Rugby World Cup, Poidevin was dropped from the Australian team for the single Bledisloe Cup Test of 1987, lost 16-30. This was the second time in Poidevin’s international career that he was dropped from the Australian team.


Poidevin commenced his 1989 rugby season by making himself unavailable to play for New South Wales. However, he continued to make himself available for Australian selection. In For Love Not Money Poidevin wrote that, “I’d spent most of my years with the club [Randwick] in an absentee role while tied up with representative teams, and before I retired I wanted to have at least one full season wearing the myrtle green jersey.”

Poidevin finished the year winning The Sydney Morning Herald best-and-fairest competition for the Sydney Club Competition with his team-mate Brad Burke. He also won the Rothmans Medal for the best and fairest in the Sydney Rugby Competition.

Despite losing the major semi-final (a non-elimination game) to Eastwood, Randwick made it to the 1989 grand final where they played Eastwood again. Poidevin finished his 1989 season with Randwick with a 19-6 victory over Eastwood in the grand final at Concord Oval. The premiership win was Randwick’s third consecutive grand final victory, their ninth in twelve years, and their 13th straight grand final.

Rugby Sevens

Poidevin played at the International Sevens at Concord Oval in March 1989. However, Australia made an early exit from the tournament. Later he toured with Australia for the Hong Kong Sevens, where Australia made it to the final, only to lose to New Zealand 22-10.


Despite making himself unavailable for city and state selection in 1989, Poidevin was pressed by his Randwick coach Jeffrey Sayle to play for Sydney in a game against Country, which he did in a game Sydney comprehensively won.

New South Wales

Despite Poidevin making himself unavailable in 1989 for New South Wales, following an unexpected run of injuries, the New South Wales management asked Poidevin to play for them in a game against the touring 1989 British Lions. Poidevin agreed and played in a 21-23 loss to the Lions.


Despite making himself unavailable for the 1988 Australia rugby union tour of England, Scotland and Italy, and further announcing his unavailability for state selection, Poidevin had hoped to achieve national selection for the Australian Test series against the British Lions. However, Scott Gourley was selected as Australia’s blindside flanker, following a good tour to the UK in 1988. Instead, Poidevin played in the curtain raiser to the first Test, playing for Randwick in a game against Eastern Suburbs.

After Australia won the first Test against the British Lions, Poidevin did not achieve national selection for the second Test. However, after the Lions defeated Australia in a violent second Test, public calls were made for Poidevin to be included in the third and series-deciding Test to harden the Australian forward pack. These calls were ignored, Poidevin missed selection for the third Test, and Australia lost to the Lions in the third Test 18-19.

Following the 1989 British Lions series, Poidevin achieved national selection for the only time in 1989 for the one-off Bledisloe Cup Test against New Zealand to be played in Auckland. Australia fielded a relatively inexperienced side, and with Phil Kearns, Tim Horan and Tony Daly making their debut for the Wallabies, Poidevin assumed a senior role within the side. Poidevin would later describe the Test as “one of the best Test matches I’d experienced.” Against an All Blacks side that had been undefeated since 1987, Australia trailed 6-3 at half-time, but went on to lose 24-12.

Following Australia's one-off Bledisloe Cup Test of 1989, Poidevin then made himself unavailable for the 1989 Australia rugby union tour of France.

Rugby Sevens

Poidevin commenced his 1991 rugby season by participating in a three-day Sevens tournament held in Punta del Este in Uruguay, as part of an ANZAC side composed of both Australian and New Zealand players (and one Uruguayan). Poidevin played alongside players such as Australia Darren Junee and All Blacks Zinzan Brooke, Walter Little, Craig Innes and John Timu. On the first night of the tournament the ANZAC side won all its games, giving them a day break before the knock-out stages. The ANZAC side won their quarter-final and semi-final in extra time, before defeating an Argentinean club side in the final.

New South Wales

In February Poidevin travelled back to South America with the New South Wales rugby union team for a three-match tour, before one extra game to be played in New Zealand against North Harbour. New South Wales defeated Rosario 36-12, before drawing against Tucuman 15-15 in the second match of the tour, after which New South Wales finished their tour with a 13-10 victory over Mendoza. New South Wales finished their overseas tour with one match in New Zealand against Wayne Shelford’s North Harbour team. Much media interest surrounded the battle that Poidevin would have with Shelford. New South Wales defeated North Harbour 19-12.

Following his overseas tour with New South Wales, Poidevin was part of New South Wales’ domestic season for 1991.

New South Wales won their first two matches against New Zealand domestic teams, defeating Waikato 20-12 and then Otago 28-17.

New South Wales then commenced their interstate games against Queensland. New South Wales defeated Queensland 24-18 at Ballymore in the first interstate game, before defeating Queensland 21-12 at Concord Oval in Sydney. The double-defeat of Queensland marked only the second time in the previous 16 years that New South Wales had defeated Queensland in two games in the same domestic season.

New South Wales then faced the touring 1991 Five Nation champion English side that had also won the Grand Slam that year. New South Wales defeated England 21-19. New South Wales then faced the touring Welsh side, defeating them 71-8.

New South Wales’ three wins and a draw in Argentina, plus six wins in their domestic season, meant that they finished their 1991 season with nine wins, one draw, and no losses.


Poidevin missed national selection for Australia’s first Test of the 1991 season against Wales, with Australian selectors choosing Jeff Miller as Australia’s openside flanker for their first Test against Wales, thus breaking apart the New South Wales back-row of Willie Ofahengaue, Simon Poidevin, and Tim Gavin. Australia defeated Wales 63-6 and Jeff Miller was acclaimed Australia’s man of the match.

Following Australia’s victory over Wales, Jeff Miller was controversially dropped from the Australian rugby union side in favour of Poidevin for Australia’s one-off Test against 1991 Five Nations Champions England.

Miller’s dropping caused controversy following his man of the match performance, and many Queenslanders expressed their disapproval of Australian coach Bob Dwyer’s selection. Queensland captain Michael Lynagh went public criticising Australian coach Bob Dwyer for dropping Miller.

Dwyer explained his selection by stating that, ‘England pose a great threat close to the scrum and we need to combat that. For that reason, we need Poidevin ahead of Miller, just for his strength.’

Poidevin’s return to the Australian side marked the first time he played for the Australia national rugby union team since the one-off 1989 Bledisloe Cup Test. It also marked a rare time when Poidevin was selected in the openside flanker position for Australia (Poidevin generally played on the blindside). Australia defeated England 40-15 at the Sydney Football Stadium in which Poidevin suffered a pinched nerve in his shoulder during the Test.

Poidevin then played in the first Bledisloe Cup Test of 1991 at the Sydney Football Stadium, with Australia victorious over New Zealand 21-12. Poidevin opposed All Black Michael Jones, then widely regarded the best flanker in the world.

Poidevin played in the second Bledisloe Cup Test played in Auckland, which New Zealand won 6-3. In For Love Not Money Poidevin criticised the performance of Scottish referee Ken McCarthy "for effectively destroying the Test as a spectacle." Poidevin wrote that:


Following Australia’s international season prior to the 1991 Rugby World Cup Poidevin played in Randwick’s playoff matches in the Sydney Rugby Competition. Randwick lost to Eastern Suburbs 25-12 in the major semi-final (a non-elimination match), before rebounding by defeating Parramatta in the final, and then beating Eastern Suburbs in a return match in the Grand-Final 28-9.. Randwick’s Grand-Final victory in the 1991 Sydney Club Competition was their fifth-straight premiership and their 11th in their previous 14 years.

1991 Rugby Union World Cup

Poidevin was a member of the victorious 1991 Rugby World Cup Australia national rugby union team, playing in five of Australia's six Tests in the tournament (Poidevin was rested for the Test against Western Samoa).

Poidevin played in Australia’s first group-stage match of the tournament against the Argentina Pumas, in a backrow composed of himself, Willie Ofahengaue and John Eales at number eight. Australia won the first match 32-19. Australian coach Bob Dwyer was critical of the Australian forwards following the Test, indicating that he was dissatisfied with the Australian second and backrow.

Poidevin’s was rested for Australia Test against Western Samoa. Australia won the Test 9-3 with Australian flyhalf Michael Lynagh kicking three successful penalty goals. Lynagh’s on-field captaincy, due to the absence of an injured Nick Farr-Jones, received praise from Poidevin following the Test. The Australian team was heavily criticised following their narrow win against Western Samoa.

Poidevin played in Australia’s third and final group-stage Test against Wales, in a back-row now comprised of himself, Jeff Miller at openside, and Willie Ofahengaue at number eight. Australia won the Test 38-3 in what was Wales’ then largest defeat on their home soil. The Australian forwards received praise from Australian coach Bob Dwyer.

Poidevin played in Australia’s first knock-out Test in the quarter-final against Ireland. In the 74th minute of the Test Irish flanker Gordon Hamilton scored a run-away try that gave Ireland the lead. Following Ralph Keyes’ successful conversion in the 76th minute for Ireland, Australia had four minutes to win the Test. In the final stages of the quarter-final, on-field Australian captain Michael Lynagh called a play that brought David Campese toward that Australian forwards on a scissors’ movement. As a maul formed around David Campese, the Irish hooker Steve Smith came close to ripping the ball from Campese before Poidevin grabbed hold of the ball and drove Australia forward, allowing Australia to be given the scrum feed. Australia scored the game-winning try in the following phase of play, defeating Ireland 19-18.

Following Australia’s narrow quarter-final victory over Ireland, Poidevin’s place in the Australian side came under scrutiny. Then Australian coach Bob Dwyer in The Winning Way relates that, "We decided that we needed changes, believing that we could not beat the All Blacks with the team which scraped through against Ireland. One selector was definite on this point. ‘If we choose that same forward pack,’ he said, ‘we will be presenting the match to New Zealand.’ In particular, we knew that we could not allow New Zealand to dominate us at the back of the line-out. Reluctantly, we left Jeff Miller out of the team and replaced him with Troy Coker."

In Dwyer’s second autobiography Full Time: A Coach’s Memoir the selector noted in Dwyer’s first autobiography is revealed to be former Australian coach John Connolly. Dwyer wrote that, "We had edged through the pool games without Tim [Gavin], never quite managing to get the forward mix quite right to compensate for his absence. I can remember the hard-headed Queensland coach and Wallaby selector John Connolly remarking before the semi that if we selected the same backrow we might as well give the game to the All Blacks."

However, in Perfect Union, the autobiography of Australian centres Tim Horan and Jason Little, a conflicting account to Dwyer’s is given of Miller’s dropping. Autobiographer Michael Blucher documented that:

The selectors had tinkered early with the back-row, but Connolly was convinced they had fielded the optimum combination against Ireland, with Miller and Poidevin as flankers, and Willie Ofahengaue at No. 8.Dwyer was not convinced, nor to a lesser extent was [Barry] Want… Connolly in part accepted Dwyer’s supposition about the need for height at the back of the lineout against the All Blacks, but at whose expense? If anyone was to go, he believed it should be Poidevin. Miller was faster and, in his opinion, had better hands and was more constructive at the breakdown. But Dwyer insisted Poidevin should stay. Want supported him, so Connolly was clearly outnumbered.

In Full Time: A Coach’s Memoir Dwyer explained his decision to drop Miller and keep Poidevin was due to Poidevin’s strength. He wrote that, “Leading up to that match our flanker Jeff Miller had been absolutely brilliant but we made the extremely unpopular decision to drop him in favour of the more physically-imposing Simon Poidevin.”

Poidevin played in Australia’s semi-final against New Zealand, in which the Wallabies defeated the All Blacks 16-6.

Poidevin played in Australia 12-6 victory over England to win the 1991 Rugby World Cup. Among the highlights of the final was a tackle that English flanker Mickey Skinner made on Poidevin in the 20th minute. In For Love Not Money Poidevin recollects that, "Among the many moments I remember from the final was the hit on me early in the game by rival flanker Mickey Skinner, without doubt the best English player on the day. I spotted him only a fraction of a second before he collected me with his shoulder and he caught me a beauty. He waited for a reaction and got it. 'Do your bloody best, pal!' and I laughed at him. I wasn't about to let him know that it was a great hit and my head was still spinning."

Bob Dwyer recounts the devastating tackle Skinner made on Poidevin in The Winning Way, writing that, "One of my memories of the first half is Simon Poidevin retaining possession after he was brought down in a heavy tackle by Micky Skinner. The tackle shook the bones of the people watching from the grandstand, so I can imagine its effect on Poidevin. After the match, I asked Poidevin in a light-hearted way how he enjoyed the tackle. He replied, 'I didn't lose possession, did I?' That was the important thing.

Following the 1991 Rugby World Cup Simon Poidevin retired from international Test-match rugby.


He played over 59 caps for the Wallabies, becoming the first Australian to play 50 Tests. He captained the team on four occasions.

Life after rugby

After retiring from the Wallabies in 1991, Poidevin became a stockbroker, although he maintained his links to rugby by working as a television commentator for the Seven Network and Network Ten. He was Managing Director of Equity Sales at Citigroup in Australia. Simon joined Pegana Capital in March 2009 as Executive Director. From March, 2011 to November 2013 he was a non-executive director at Dart Energy Pty Ltd. From October 2011 to November 2012, Simon was a board member of ASX listed Diversa Limited. In September 2011 he became Executive Director at Bizzell Capital Partners. In March 2013 he joined Bell Potter Financial Group as Managing Director Corporate Stockbroking. He is also a non-executive director of Snapsil Corporation.


  • 26 January 1988: Medal of the Order of Australia for service to rugby union football.
  • 1991: Inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame.
  • 29 September 2000: Australian Sports Medal
  • 24 October 2014: Inducted into Australia Rugby's Hall of Fame.
  • Legacy

    During 1987 Mark Ella described Simon Poidevin as 'the best rugby player in Australia.' In his 1995 book Running Rugby Ella wrote of Poidevin that:

    Bob Dwyer, former coach of the Wallabies, in his second autobiography Full Time: A Coach's Memoir, selected Poidevin in his greatest Australian XV from 1982-2003. In selecting Poidevin, Dwyer wrote that, "That gives me a warrior at No. 7..." He further wrote that, "As for Poidevin, he made his debut against Fiji in Suva in 1980 and, after a couple of Melbas, departed 59 Tests later a world champion. In attitude he was a professional long before money came into the game, so focused that he would be the last guy you would want to room with on the eve of a big game. If contributions to the cause are a measure of a rugby worth, few gave more than Poido."


    Simon Poidevin Wikipedia

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