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Aussies locking on for debut triesJohn GriffithsAugust 21, 2014
Will Skelton scored a try on his Wallaby Test debut against France in June. Who was the last Aussie lock to perform this feat? Andrew Walker, Australia
Tries on Test debut are relatively rare and when they do occur, they are usually scored by backs. The three most recent Australian players to cross as new caps were Bernard Foley (v Argentina in Rosario 2013), Chris Feauai-Sautia (v South Africa in Cape Town 2013) and Israel Folau (twice v British & Irish Lions in Brisbane 2013).
The last Australian forward to perform the feat was prop Rodney Blake against England in Sydney in 2006.
Will Skelton's try against France in Sydney was the first by an Aussie lock on debut since Dick Thornett crossed in Brisbane against Fiji in 1961. Thornett packed down in several Tests in 1961 and 1962 with his brother, John, later a Wallaby captain, as his second-row partner.
Dick was a gifted all-round sportsman who won his Aussie colours at water-polo and, after his short career in union, joined another of his brothers, Ken, as a rugby league player.
John Griffiths is a widely respected rugby historian and is the author of several sports books, a regular contributor to the Daily Telegraph and co-author of the IRB International Rugby Yearbook. He has provided insight for Scrum.com since 1999.