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Wayne Pearce

Second Row, Lock

Player Bio

Inducted:
2008
Birthplace:
Balmain, NSW
Date of Birth:
29 March 1960
Nickname:
Junior
Debut Team:
Balmain Tigers
Opposition:
North Sydney Bears
Date:
01 March 1980
Venue:
Leichhardt Oval, Sydney
Representative:
City, New South Wales, Australia
Club:
Balmain Tigers

Career

Milestones
  • Grand Final Appearances: 1988-89
  • Kangaroo Tour: 1982
  • Rothmans Medal: 1985
  • Harry Sunderland Medal: 1984
  • Dally M Lock of the Year: 1987, 1988
  • Rated No. 99 in Rugby League Week’s Top 100 players: 1992
First Class Games
277
Points
175
Tries
48

Biography

No Australian rugby league player had a greater influence on fitness than Balmain lock forward Wayne Pearce. A non-drinker and non-smoker, Pearce's strict adherence to exercise and diet helped to modernise the game as he became a role model for younger players and fans.

Pearce's greatest assets were his athleticism and endurance. Not heavily framed at 88kg, his boundless enthusiasm was an inspiration to teammates.

After making his debut with the Tigers in 1980, Pearce quickly rose to the Balmain captaincy in 1982, a position he held until his retirement.

It was no coincidence the Tigers reached the finals seven times (1983 and 1985–1990) during his reign, which included heart-wrenching grand-final losses in 1988 and 1989.

Pearce toured with the 1982 Kangaroos at a time when Ray Price had a monopoly on the Test lock position.

So he moved into the second row before succeeding Price on the Parramatta champion's international retirement in 1984.

Pearce's form was acknowledged in 1985 when he won the Rothman's Medal as the best-and-fairest player in the NSWRL competition.

In 1986, he captained NSW to its first-ever Origin series clean sweep against Queensland. He led the Blues in 10 of his 15 appearances between 1983 and 1988.

Balmain front-rower Steve Roach said of his captain: ''Junior was the toughest bloke I ever saw. He had an inner strength of character and a never-say-die spirit that was indomitable''.

“The new dimension came into Pearce’s game when he acquired the skills of twisting and turning in the tackle, and getting the ball away."

Peter Sterling Kangaroo team-mate

Career Stats

Club Career

Club
Team Name Competition Year Start Year End Played Tries Goals Field Goals Points
Balmain Tigers Premiership 1980 1990 192 33 - - 123
Balmain Tigers Official Pre-Season
1980
1990
1981
1990
7 1 - - 3
Balmain Tigers Mid-Week Competitions
1980
1985
1983
1989
22 2 - - 6

Representative Career

City - Country

City - Country
Team Name Opponent Year Start Year End Played Tries Goals Field Goals Points
City Seconds Country Seconds
1980
1982
1980
1982
2 - - - -
City Firsts Country Firsts 1983 1986 4 - - - -
City Origin Country Origin 1987 1988 2 1 - - 4

State

State
Team Name Competition Opponent Year Start Year End Played Tries Goals Field Goals Points
New South Wales State of Origin Queensland 1983 1988 15 3 - - 12

International

International
Team Name Competition Year Start Year End Played Tries Goals Field Goals Points
Australia Tests and World Cup
1982
1984
1982
1988
19 6 - - 21
Australia Tour Matches
1982
1985
1988
1982
1985
1988
12 2 - - 6
Australia Rest of the World 1988 1988 1 - - - -

Other Representative

Other Representative
Team Name Opponent Year Start Year End Played Tries Goals Field Goals Points
Oceania Europe 1984 1984 1 - - - -

Hall Of Fame Members