Owen Finegan’s dry wit is matched only by his rugged good looks, hence the nickname ‘Melon’.
Although a niggler and supreme practical joker with the Brumbies and Wallabies, Finegan was a true game breaker. It’s been often said that when Finegan played well, the Wallabies played well.
The big, strong, bruising backrower had a special try scoring talent and that was no more evident than during the 1999 World Cup final against France.
Finegan had the perfect mix of strength and strategy and often broke through the advantage line running off the first receiver. He was a foundation member of the 1996 Brumbies, making him an integral part of coach Eddie Jones’ leadership team.
Following his playing career, Owen was appointed forwards coach for the Brumbies, and is CEO of Snowy Hydro SouthCare Rescue Helicopter.
Wallabies: Owen made his international debut against Wales in 1996 and went on to win 56 caps despite having ankle and knee reconstructions, plus operations on both shoulders. He has been an integral part of the Wallabies’ success over the past decade and was named in the Wallaby team of the decade.
World Cup: The undoubted highlight of Finegan’s career came in 1999 when he scored an injury time try as Australia won the Rugby World Cup.