Rugby Australia today joins the Rugby community in celebrating Wallaby #336, Eric Tweedale on his 100th Birthday.
The former prop is Australia’s oldest living Wallabies representative, having accrued ten Test-caps between 1946 and 1949.
Born in Rochdale, England in 1921, Tweedale emigrated to Australia in 1924, before taking up Rugby at the age of 15, playing for his local side, Parramatta (now the Western Sydney Two Blues). Within two seasons of joining the side, Tweedale made his first-grade debut against Drummoyne.
Joining the Royal Australian Navy during World War II, Tweedale was picked at lock for the North v South and Metropolitan v The AIF matches in the South Pacific. During this time, he continued his association with Parramatta.
Returning to Australia at the end of the War, Tweedale made his provincial debut for New South Wales (Waratah #794) in an all-Parramatta front row, packing down alongside Ken Kearney & Len Wolfe. Strong performances here saw him earn his first spot in an Australian side, packing down in a trial match before making his international debut in Dunedin during the 1946 Wallaby tour.
Stand-out performances saw Tweedale reach the pinnacle of his career when chosen for the third Wallabies tour to the United Kingdom and Europe. He played in four of the five Tests and was also honoured to be selected in the first-ever match for an international team against the Barbarians RUFC.
Retiring from international Rugby in 1949, Tweedale moved to Parkes from where he captained NSW Country against the British Lions and led Central Western against Fiji. He was also instrumental in the formation of the Forbes Rugby Club.
Returning to Sydney in 1957, Tweedale resumed his playing career for Parramatta as captain and a year later as captain/coach.
A special celebratory 100th Birthday luncheon will be held at Merrylands RSL on Friday 14th May. A plaque will also be unveiled naming the Eric Tweedale Stadium, home ground of the Western Sydney Two Blues, which was commissioned by Cumberland Council and supported by the NSW Government.
Rugby Australia Chairman Hamish McLennan said: “On behalf of the Rugby community, I would like to extend our congratulations to Eric on this incredible milestone.
“He has been a terrific ambassador for Australian Rugby and his contribution to our game extended well beyond his international playing career. Eric is a model example of how our players can positively impact the community,” McLennan said.
Rugby Australia Chief Executive Andy Marinos said: “I’d like to echo Hamish’s sentiments, and wish Eric a very Happy Birthday.
“Eric’s dedication to our game, and his club, is unrivalled and the entirety of the Wallabies family joins me in congratulating him on this milestone,” Marinos said.
Tweedale is a life member of Parramatta Rugby Union and Parramatta Junior Rugby Union. He was capped 10 times for Australia and played 123 first Grade games for Parramatta. Eric is Two Blues Club Patron, former captain, coach, and president. He is a Life Member of Merrylands RSL.