Describing himself as a “considerate larrikin”, Australian rugby great Richard Harry was a key part of the Wallabies team during a golden era – Securing the Bledisloe Cup in 1998 and retaining it for three years, World Cup glory in 1999, Tri Nations triumph in 2000 and named number one in an Australian Rugby Union team of the decade in 2015. No stranger to the highs on the rugby field, we chatted to the former Wallaby about the joys of being a Dad to his four children in celebration of Father’s Day.
How would you describe your personal your style?
Like my music: Chet Faker meets Johnny Cash meets Bon Iver meets Stan Getz meets the Black Keys!! Eclectic!!
Biggest career highlight:
Rugby Wise obviously the 1999 RWC, though the 2000 Bledisloe Cup series was seriously memorable as well.
(Richard with sons Will, Ed & Luke. Shop: Menswear)
How did fatherhood impact your football career?
I was a dad before I was a professional rugby player so it was more how did becoming a full time footy player affect that! Biggest benefit for me juggling family and rugby was having a beautifully supportive wife in Isabel. There is no way our kids would have turned out as amazing as they are if she had not been there to hold it together whilst I was off mucking around with rugby.
The most surprising thing about fatherhood:
I think the fact that your kids can be so different in personality yet all still hold key aspects of the family unit, 50/50 nature nurture. This is also one of the things I love about being a Dad is that they are so different and hence need a different approach in trying to get the most out of them.
The best advice your father, Philip Harry President of the Australian Rugby Union in the late 1990s, has given you when it comes to family:
Openly show your feelings. It’s very important people around you know what you think, the closer they are even more so.
Your Father’s personal motto is “Be positive, take on leadership, act with integrity, and never die wondering.” – What’s your personal motto?
There is an old saying I subscribe to “Show me who you love and I’ll show you who you are”. This resonates so strongly as it means to me that the people we truly love and care about define who we are as humans. Therefore, it is hugely important to embrace these individuals physically, mentally, and emotionally, as they are your life blood and should be treated as such.
Favourite things to do with the family:
We are lucky enough to have a farm down south so quality family time for us is spent down there, farm jobs, chasing cows, and bbq’ing out in the paddock. Bliss!!
The best part of being a dad?
Both the unconditional love that kids provide combined with the thrill of seeing someone who you so deeply care about grow and mature into a beautiful, energized, engaging, vital young adult.
What’s on your Father’s Day wish-list?
A day of no sibling rivalry!
Describe a typical Sunday for you as a family…
Breakfast down in Manly, wander through the markets or along the beach. Dinner cooked by me with a few vino’s to wash it down. Lovely stuff…
Photography by Jodie McBride