Wayne Pearce

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Career Stats & Summary

Vital Statistics

Full Name
Wayne John Pearce
Nickname(s)
Junior
Born
Tuesday, 29th March, 1960
Current Age
59 years and 146 days
Place Of Birth
Balmain, New South Wales, Australia

Awards & Accolades

Harry Sunderland Medal
1984
Rothmans Medal
1985
Dally M Lock Of The Year
1987, 1988
Ken Stephen Memorial Award
1988

Known Family Links

Son
Mitchell Pearce
Brother
Graham Pearce

Biography

The career of Wayne Pearce best typifies the standard of commitment required of the modern footballer. The image the Balmain lock projected - the intelligent, conscientious professional with a background in nutrition and fitness - became the role model of the 1980s. What he lacked in natural ability he more than made up for in determination but Pearce's career did provide its share of disappointments among a list of achievements. Coming into grade from the Balmain juniors in 1978 a bout of hepatitis halted his immediate playing career. In 1980 he was named the club's ‘best and fairest’ player but a detached retina injury saw him miss the beginning of the 1981 season. Pearce’s great form in 1982 earned selection on the Kangaroo Tour and coach Frank Stanton moved him to the second row to bring him into the Test team. ‘Junior’ Pearce was the discovery of the tour - playing in all five Tests - and his whole-hearted performances at club level soon saw him take over the Balmain captaincy. Pearce led by example and the Tigers were regular semi-final visitors during the 1980s. In 1984 he won the Harry Sunderland Medal as the best Australian ‘Player of the Ashes’ series and his natural determination was seen at its best when he scored a great try in the Second Test in Brisbane. In 1985 he won the Rothmans Medal as best and fairest player but suffered another detached retina injury in the major semi-final that year. Worse was to follow. A knee injury in late 1986 made a second Kangaroo tour unlikely but Pearce underwent an operation before setting himself a gruelling fitness program in order to make the tour. He ultimately failed the fitness test, an unjust reward for his efforts, but resumed his Test career the following year against NZ. In 1988 Pearce was inexplicably left out of the Centenary Test against Great Britain but went on to play in every other rep fixture that year. In 1988-89 he captained Balmain in successive grand final losses - a heart-breaking statistic but one Pearce took in his stride in good sportsmanship. Awarded the OAM in 1988 he retired when the injury to his left knee limited him to just 7 games during the 1990 season. A respected figure in the game Pearce first pursued a career in the media with Channel 10 but, in 1994, with the Balmain club at the crossroads he took over from Alan Jones as first grade coach. After a promising start the Tigers finished with the wooden spoon but Pearce remained committed the club's survival during the late 1990s. In 1999 he was named the inaugural coach of the merged W’Tigers club as well as being appointed NSW State of Origin coach. Pearce brought new meaning to the concept of ‘team bonding’ with a highly publicised horse-riding activity that went horribly wrong (two of his star forwards, Robbie Kearns and Bradley Clyde, were injured and ruled out of the series). After 1999’s interstate series finished in a historic draw (but with Queensland maintaining the trophy) he resigned from his club duties to spend more time with his family. In 2000 Pearce’s NSW team won the State of Origin series 3-0 – thereby becoming the only person to achieve such a feat as a player (1986) and a coach. Unfortunately he suffered the fate of many a losing coach the following year and was replaced by Phil Gould for the 2002 State of Origin series. Autobiography, Local Hero (1990).

- ALAN WHITICKER

Career Statistics

All statistics shown in this section are based only on data available in the RLP database, and are not necessarily a complete and/or 100% accurate representation of a player's career. This information should be used as a guide only. If you see a question mark (?), it denotes that the figure is not available.

To view a list of corresponding matches, click on the Match list icon.

International

Test Matches - By Team

Team Years App T G   GK % FG Pts W L D Win %  
Australia 1982, 1984-88 19 6 -   - 21 16 3 0 84.21% Match list
Overall 1982-1988 19 6 0   0 21 16 3 0 84.21% Match list

International Matches - By Team

Team Years App T G   GK % FG Pts W L D Win %  
Australia 1982-1988 1 - -   - - 1 0 0 100.00% Match list
Overall 1988 1 0 0   0 1 0 0 100.00% Match list

World Cup Matches - By Team

Team Years App T G   GK % FG Pts W L D Win %  
Australia 1982-1988 5 - -   - - 3 2 0 60.00% Match list
Overall 1985-1988 5 0 0   0 3 2 0 60.00% Match list


Representative

Australia - By Team

Team Years App T G   GK % FG Pts W L D Win %  
New South Wales 1983-88 15 3 -   - 12 6 9 0 40.00% Match list
NSW City Firsts 1983-86 4 - -   - - 4 0 0 100.00% Match list
NSW City 1987-88 2 1 -   - 4 2 0 0 100.00% Match list
Overall 1983-1988 21 4 0   0 16 12 9 0 57.14% Match list


Club Career

Australian League Matches - By Year

Team Years App T G   GK % FG Pts W L D Win %  
Balmain NSWRFL 1980 19 3 -   - 9 6 13 0 31.58% Match list
Balmain NSWRFL 1981 11 - -   - - 4 6 1 36.36% Match list
Balmain NSWRFL 1982 21 6 -   - 18 9 12 0 42.86% Match list
Balmain NSWRFL 1983 16 6 -   - 24 9 7 0 56.25% Match list
Balmain NSWRL 1984 18 3 -   - 12 10 8 0 55.56% Match list
Balmain NSWRL 1985 18 2 -   - 8 12 6 0 66.67% Match list
Balmain NSWRL 1986 16 5 -   - 20 8 8 0 50.00% Match list
Balmain NSWRL 1987 22 3 -   - 12 12 9 1 54.55% Match list
Balmain NSWRL 1988 21 3 -   - 12 16 5 0 76.19% Match list
Balmain NSWRL 1989 20 1 -   - 4 13 7 0 65.00% Match list
Balmain NSWRL 1990 10 1 -   - 4 6 4 0 60.00% Match list
Overall 1980-1990 192 33 0   0 123 105 85 2 54.69% Match list

Australian League Matches - By Team

Team Years App T G   GK % FG Pts W L D Win %  
Balmain 1980-90 192 33 -   - 123 105 85 2 54.69% Match list
Overall 1980-1990 192 33 0   0 123 105 85 2 54.69% Match list

Australian Finals Matches - By Team

Team Years App T G   GK % FG Pts W L D Win %  
Balmain 1980-1990 11 - -   - - 5 6 0 45.45% Match list
Overall 1983-1990 11 0 0   0 5 6 0 45.45% Match list

Your Say

Dave jensen says: Wayne Pearce one word legend (08/07/2016)

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Last modified: Thu, 22 Aug 2019 09:11:01 +0000 (Sydney time)