NSW Rugby Union today joins the Rugby community in celebrating and congratulating Waratah #794, Eric Tweedale on his 100th Birthday.
The former prop is Australia’s oldest living NSW and 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.
NSW Rugby Union CEO Paul Doorn said:
“Eric is a proud New South Welshman and has made an enormous contribution not only to rugby, but also to our country with his services off the field and is a fantastic role model to all of us.
“He is one of the great characters of our game and always lights up the room with his razor-sharp wit and is a true treasure of NSW Rugby Union.
“On behalf of NSW Rugby Union, I would like to congratulate Eric on this incredible milestone.