1991 NICK FARR-JONES

AUS­TRALIA

NZ Rugby World Tournament Guide - - MAGNIFICENT SEVEN -

PO­SI­TION: Half­back AGE ON DE­BUT: 22 AGE WHEN FIRST CAP­TAIN: 26 CAPS BE­FORE BE­COM­ING CAP­TAIN: 23 TESTS AS CAP­TAIN: 36 TO­TAL CAPS: 63 KEY QUAL­I­TIES: In­tel­li­gent. Com­pas­sion­ate. Fiercely com­pet­i­tive. Ar­tic­u­late. Driven and supremely gifted.

Farr-Jones was an in­spir­ing mix of in­stinc­tive ge­nius, res­o­lute char­ac­ter, dis­ci­pline, hard work, in­tel­li­gence and down-to-earth, good hon­est val­ues. What cat­a­pulted him to the Wal­laby cap­taincy in 1988 was his rugby tal­ent. First capped in 1983, Farr-Jones was a class act from that first test. He was rel­a­tively big, pow­er­ful, quick and au­thor­i­ta­tive. He was a nat­u­ral com­mu­ni­ca­tor and binder.

A qual­i­fied lawyer and com­mit­ted Chris­tian, he had that ad­mirable abil­ity to re­late to man­age­ment and yet not os­tracise him­self from the play­ers. What en­deared him most to his team­mates, though, was his tenac­ity and per­se­ver­ance.

His early years as cap­tain were not easy. The Wal­la­bies couldn’t build con­sis­tent re­sults and there was al­ways a feel­ing of the axe hang­ing over the skip­per’s head. But that ad­ver­sity shaped him. It gave him the strength of char­ac­ter he needed to im­pose him­self on the team in 1991 and drive them to new heights. The Wal­la­bies had to dig them­selves out of a hole in the quar­ter­fi­nal against Ire­land and then tackle them­selves to a stand-still in the semi­fi­nal. Those sorts of per­for­mances only come when the team be­lieves in the cap­tain: when they have a be­liev­able, re­spected voice driv­ing them to give ev­ery­thing they have. That was Farr-Jones – a man who de­manded re­spect both as player and cap­tain.

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