Chris Latham (rugby union)

Chris Latham
Full name Christopher Eric Latham
Date of birth (1975-09-08) 8 September 1975
Place of birth Narrabri, New South Wales, Australia
Height 192 cm (6 ft 4 in)[1]
Weight 99 kg (15 st 8 lb)
School Narrabri High School
Rugby union career
Playing career
Position Fullback, Wing
Professional / senior clubs
Years Club / team Caps (points)
Kyuden Voltex

correct as of 2012-02-28.
National team(s)
Years Club / team Caps (points)
1998–2007 Australia 78 (200)
correct as of 2011-10-24.
Sevens national teams
Years Club / team Comps
1997, 2006 Australia
correct as of 2011-10-24.

Chris Latham (born 8 September 1975) is a former Australian rugby union player who enjoyed a distinguished representative career with the Queensland Reds and Australia between 1998 and 2007 before signing with Worcester Warriors in the UK and later Japanese club Kyuden Voltex.

He stands as the second highest try scorer in Wallaby history with 40 international tries, only bettered by David Campese.


Latham began his Super Rugby career with the New South Wales Waratahs before a move to the Queensland Reds in 1998 saw him cement his place as a starting No. 15. He went on to become the first player to win the Australian Super Rugby Player of the Year award four times (2000, 2003, 2004, 2005).[2]

Latham made his international debut against France on the 1998 Spring Tour and represented the Wallabies at three Rugby World Cups (1999, 2003 and 2007). At the 2003 tournament, he racked up an Australian record five-try haul against the hapless Namibia in Adelaide.[3]

At the Northern Hemisphere v Southern Hemisphere Tsunami Relief match held at Twickenham in March 2005, he scored two tries and was named man of the match.[4]

The following March, he represented the Australian Rugby Sevens team at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, but his campaign was cut short when he suffered a rib injury.[5]

On 12 September 2006, he became the first backline player to be awarded the John Eales Medal[6] and was later nominated by the International Rugby Board for Player of the Year, edged out for the award by New Zealand's Richie McCaw.[7]

Latham suffered misfortune in early 2007 when he tore his anterior cruciate ligament in pre-season training with the Queensland Reds but managed to return for his third Rugby World Cup in October that year.

After a frustrating end to 2007 and start to the 2008 Super Rugby season where he battled a knee injury[8] his representative career in Australia came to an untimely close in his return match against the Crusaders. In what should have been his penultimate appearance for the Queensland Reds, he ruptured his pectoral muscle 13 minutes into the game, drawing an end to his playing days on Australian soil as he'd already announced a move to Worcester for the following two seasons.[9][10] The contract was estimated to be worth £325,000 a year, which would have made him the second highest wage earner in the English Premiership (Newcastle Falcons prop Carl Hayman tops the list)[11]

After leaving Worcester, he joined Kyuden Voltex, a second-division club in Japan, on a two-year contract. He was also involved in skills training and backs coaching at Kyuden, and helped them win promotion to the top division for 2012–13 before retiring in 2012.[12]

Stephen Jones, chief rugby correspondent for The Times and The Sunday Times, rated Latham as the finest fullback he has ever seen.[13]


  1. "2001 Australian Wallabies squad — British & Irish Lions Tour". Australian Rugby Union. Archived from the original on 22 September 2013. Retrieved 17 June 2014.
  2. "Super Rugby Awards" (PDF). Retrieved 26 March 2015.
  3. "Australia annihilate Namibia". BBC. Retrieved 26 March 2015. External link in |website= (help)
  4. "South victorious in tsunami rugby match". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 26 March 2015.
  5. "Rugby counts cost of sevens carnage". The Sydney Morning Herald. March 18, 2006. Retrieved 26 March 2015.
  6. "Chris Latham wins 2006 John Eales Medal". ARU. 12 September 2006. Archived from the original on 12 September 2006. Retrieved 12 September 2006.
  7. "IRB announces Player of Year nominees". IRB. 23 July 2006. Archived from the original on 7 February 2012. Retrieved 17 September 2007.
  8. AFP (April 5, 2008). "Reds fullback Chris Latham sidelined with knee injury". Retrieved 26 March 2015.
  9. "Latham seals switch to Worcester". BBC. 18 December 2007. Retrieved 29 April 2010.
  10. "Chris Latham ends own Test career". The Australian. May 13, 2008. Retrieved 26 March 2015.
  11. "Premiership faces cull in harsh financial times". Independent. London. 16 December 2008. Retrieved 24 December 2008.
  12. "Ballymore grass calls to Latham". The Courier Mail. Brisbane. 2 March 2012. Archived from the original on 21 November 2013. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
  13. "Chris Latham's last stand". Sunday Times. London. 7 September 2008. Retrieved 24 December 2008.

External links

Preceded by
Jeremy Paul
John Eales Medal
Succeeded by
Nathan Sharpe
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