Crittle and Heming inducted into Wallabies Hall of Fame

Charles Peter Crittle (left) and Robin John Heming back in their playing days for the Wallabies.
Charles Peter Crittle (left) and Robin John Heming back in their playing days for the Wallabies.

Rugby Australia have announced Classic Wallabies Robin John Heming and Charles Peter Crittle as the latest inductees into the Wallabies Hall of Fame.

Their induction marks the beginning of a week-long celebration of the Rugby Australia Awards which will culminate in the 2021 John Eales Medal being announce on Sunday morning (AEDT).

The Wallabies Hall of Fame celebrates and recognises our Wallabies who have made a major contribution to the game of Rugby both on and off the field.

Heming and Crittle formed a formidable second row combination, becoming a core component of the Wallabies’ successes during the mid 1960s, starting together in Australia’s first series win against South Africa in 1965.

Classic Wallabies President Simon Poidevin said: “The Classic Wallabies are deeply gratified that two of our best have been honoured with the announcement of their induction into the Wallabies Hall of Fame."

"Rob Heming was widely regarded as the greatest line-up jumper in the world during the period he played international Rugby.

"Rob was not a big man, playing at 15 stone but his formidable vertical jump and skill in the air provided invaluable quality line-out ball for his talented backline colleagues to forge famous Wallaby victories against the Springboks and All Blacks.

"He was a real Gentleman of the game and enjoyed a successful career as an optometrist.

"Peter Crittle AO was an intelligent, crafty, vigorous and versatile forward who was a core component of the Wallabies successes during the mid-1960’s.

"He partnered Rob Heming in the second-row during the Wallabies highly successful tour of South Africa in 1963.

"Peter’s contribution was not limited to the playing field and he made his mark as a coach and administrator, culminating in his election as President of The Australian Rugby Union in 2001.

"Personally I experienced the intelligence, drive and wit of Peter as a member of the 1980 Sydney team that 'Charlie Crittle’ coached to an undefeated season , including a draw against the touring All Blacks.

"Peter enjoyed a successful career as a barrister."

Wallaby number 466, Heming made his debut in 1961 against Fiji at the Sydney Cricket Ground in what would be a 20-14 win.

Born in Papua New Guniea and raised in Sydney’s Northern Beaches, Heming played 21 Tests for the Wallabies across a seven-year International career.

Recognised as an elite lineout jumper, Heming played with versatility across the second row and in the loose forwards.

In ‘The Top 100 Wallabies’ written by Peter Jenkins, Heming was selected by a panel of seven, including five Wallabies, at number 23 and the second row partner of John Eales in the Top XV.

Wallaby number 482, Crittle made his Wallabies debut in 1962 against New Zealand in Dunedin and went on to feature in 15 Tests for his country across a six-year career.

Born and raised in Sydney, Crittle played two years in the Sydney Boys High School first XV before joining the Eastern Suburbs Rugby Union Club and Sydney University.

He was originally selected for the Wallabies as a flanker but soon moved into the second row and began his superb combination with Heming.

A natural leader, Crittle was honoured with the captaincy for two uncapped matches in the 1963 tour of South Africa against Eastern Province and Central Universities.

In the same tour, in the third Test against South Africa at Ellis Park, Crittle delivered one of his finest performances, heavily involved in the crucial try scored by John Williams as Australia won 11-9 to take a 2-1 series lead. The series would eventually be drawn 2-2.

A lifelong servant of the game, Crittle coached Sydney University, NSW and in later years Murwillumbah RU, He went on to become president of the NSWRU from 1993-99, vice-president of the ARU from 1994-2001, and finally ARU president from 2001-05.

A full list of the Wallabies Hall of Fame inductees can be found here.