1991 NICK FARR-JONES
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.