Rugby Australia has today announced that 27-Test Wallaby, Geoff ‘Bunter’ Shaw will link up with the Junior Wallabies program in 2020 in the role of Wallaby Statesman.
The former Australian Captain and Hall of Fame inductee amassed 22 matches for NSW and 47 caps for Queensland as well as making his international debut as a 20-year-old against Wales in 1969.
Shaw went on to play across the world, representing the Wallabies in Australia, France and the USA, finishing his career on a high when Australia defeated New Zealand in Sydney in July 1979.
As an administrator, Shaw was a highly respected member of the Queensland Rugby Union where he served between 1987-2001 before taking up a role at the then-Australian Rugby Union. In this his role with the governing body, Shaw was instrumental in the delivery of the successful 2003 Rugby World Cup on home soil. He was later appointed Classic Wallabies program manager between 2010-2017.
The new role will see Shaw support the Junior Wallabies program primarily through mentoring and guidance, for the playing group and management group, ensuring that each player receives a sense of voice, belonging and history both on and off the field.
A key component of the role will also see Shaw assist players through injury and rehabilitation, interactions with stakeholders while also further building connections between Junior Wallabies, current and former players.
The Wallaby Statesman program will continue to look for opportunities to align former Wallabies with other pathways teams throughout the year.
Wallaby Statesman, Geoff Shaw said: “It’s a huge honour to be invited into such a ground-breaking team, particularly in light of their recent success.
“I’m looking forward to in some small way contributing to both the players and the staff, bringing in some small aspects of past Wallaby teams that may have been overlooked since the inauguration of professional Rugby.
“When you look at other sports in Australia, they do a really good job in maintaining a large component of tradition and heritage and I’m looking to really drive this component of the Junior Wallabies program in 2020.”