1979 Ireland rugby union tour of Australia

1979 Ireland rugby union tour of Australia
8 7 0 1
Test match
2 2 0 0
2 2 0 0
Ireland line-out, second Test

The 1979 Ireland rugby union tour of Australia was a series of eight matches played by the Ireland national rugby union team in Australia in May and June 1979.

The tour was one of Ireland's most successful to date. Ireland won seven of the eight matches they played, including both tests against Australia. The only defeat came against Sydney. The tour also marked a notable episode in the rivalry between the two Ireland fly halves, Tony Ward and Ollie Campbell. Ward had been an ever present during both the 1978 and 1979 Five Nations Championships and he also played in the early games during this tour. However he was then dropped before the first test in favour of Campbell. Campbell subsequently emerged as man of the tour, setting an Irish record when he scored 60 points during the remaining games. On 3 June in Brisbane he scored 19 points, helping Ireland to a 27–12 victory. Campbell scored four penalties, one drop goal and converted two Colin Patterson tries. In the second test on 16 June Campbell scored two drop goals and a penalty as Ireland won 9–3. These two tests also marked the beginning and the end of the careers of two Ireland rugby legends. The first test saw the debut of Ciaran Fitzgerald while the second saw Mike Gibson make his final Ireland appearance.[1][2][3][4] While on this tour Ned Byrne was the victim of a hit and run road accident which left his leg broken in three places.


Scores and results list Ireland's points tally first.
Opposing Team For Against Date Venue
Western Australia 39 3 20 May Perry Lakes Stadium, Perth
Australian Capital Territory 35 7 23 May Manuka Oval, Canberra
New South Wales 16 12 26 May Sydney Sports Ground, Sydney
Queensland 18 15 29 May Ballymore, Brisbane
Australia 27 12 3 June Ballymore, Brisbane
New South Wales Country 28 7 5 June Wade Park, Orange
Sydney 12 16 9 June Sydney Sports Ground, Sydney
Australia 9 3 16 June Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney

Test matches

3 June 1979
Australia  12–27 Ireland
Tries: Brendan Moon
Con: Paul McLean
Pen: Paul McLean (2)
Tries: Colin Patterson (2)
Con: Ollie Campbell (2)
Pen: Ollie Campbell (4)
Drop Goal: Ollie Campbell
Ballymore, Brisbane
Referee: R G Byres (Australia)
16 June 1979
Australia  3–9 Ireland
Pen: Paul McLean
Pen: Ollie Campbell
Drop Goals: Ollie Campbell (2)
SCG, Sydney
Referee: R. G. Byres (Australia)

Touring party



See also


  1. www.sporting-heroes.net
  2. www.irishrugby.ie
  3. The Ireland Rugby Miscellany (2007): Ciaran Cronin
  4. This test series remains Ireland's only winning tour of the southern hemisphere "big 3" countries and the last time Ireland won a test in either Australia, South Africa or New Zealand. www.irishrugby.ie
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