Born, raised and schooled on Queensland’s Gold Coast, James Slipper has developed into one of the elite prop forwards in Australian rugby.
He captained The Southport School to the 2007 GPS title although he was far from the only star in a team that included fellow future Wallabies Ben Tapuai, Rob Simmons, Luke Morahan and Jono Lance. Slipper subsequently won selection for Australian Schools and in 2009 he was voted Australia’s player of the U21 World Championship.
Fast tracked into the wider Queensland Reds squad by coach Ewen McKenzie for the 2010 season, Slipper debuted in the narrow opening round loss to New South Wales. A mere four months later he endured a baptism of fire - the Australian scrum had already conceded one penalty try - when he played his maiden Test against England in Perth.
Over the next six years Slipper established himself as a permanent fixture in the Wallaby match day squad. Along the way he twice won the Reds’ Pilecki Medal for Player’s Player of the year (2012 and 2014) and in 2015 Slipper was honoured with the captaincy when he led the Wallabies against the U.S.A in Chicago.
A combination of injury and personal issues disrupted the 2017 and 2018 seasons before a move south to the Brumbies in 2019 reinvigorated Slipper’s career and earned him selection to a third Rugby World Cup. During that tournament Slipper, in his 94th Test and at the time ranked second only to New Zealand’s Owen Franks (108) as having played the most internationals without scoring a dry, broke his duck in the pool match against Uruguay.
Slipper’s redemption was made complete in 2022 when, in the absence of long-time skipper Michael Hooper, he led the Wallabies through both The Rugby Championship and the Spring Tour.
2007 Represented Australian Schools against England U18s, Samoan Schools and New Zealand Schools.
2009 Selected in the Australian U20s squad for the second-annual IRB Junior World Championship tournament in Japan. Voted the Australian U20 Player of the Year following his performances at the tournament.
2010 Slipper progressed from QAS Academy squad member and Super Rugby debutant to play all but one of the Wallabies’ Tests. He won his first Test cap in difficult circumstances, off the bench when Australia’s scrum was hammered, in the 1st Test, 27-17 win over England in Perth. Slipper was then capped in the remaining 13 internationals and earned a first starting cap at loose head prop in the 32-14 victory against Italy in Firenze.
2011 Slipper recovered from an ankle injury suffered during the Super Rugby season to play in the final eight Tests of the year and win selection to his first Rugby World Cup where he was capped in all six Australian matches.
2012 Slipper played in 12 of the Wallabies’ 15 Tests and nine of those caps were won off the bench.
2013 Slipper was capped in all 15 Wallaby internationals, the last 12 of which all came as the starting loose head prop.
2014 In the opening Test of the season against France in Brisbane, Slipper became the fifth Australian prop to win 50 caps. He went on to play all 14 internationals wearing the No.1 jersey.
2015 Slipper featured in 11 of the 12 Wallaby Tests and became the 83rd Wallaby captain when he led the side to a 47-10 victory over the U.S.A. in Chicago. He was selected to his second Rugby World Cup and only missed the pool game against Uruguay. In the semi-final win over Argentina, Slipper became Australia’s most-capped Test prop of all-time when he won a 73rd cap to surpass both Ben Alexander and Benn Robinson.
2016 Slipper earned a further 12 Test caps, nine of which came as a replacement.
2017 Slipper’s season was cruelly cut short when he ruptured his Achilles tendon playing for Queensland against the Lions in Johannesburg. As a consequence, he missed the entire 2017 international season.
2019 Slipper was one of just four Wallabies to be capped in all 10 internationals, including the four pool and one final matches of his third Rugby World Cup.
2020 He started at loosehead in all four Tests against New Zealand before a dislocated elbow ruled him out of the two TRC matches against Argentina.
2021 Slipper and Rob Valetini were the only two Wallabies to play in all 14 Tests of 2021. He captained the side in the year’s final Test, against Wales in Cardiff.
2022 He earned 13 caps from Australia’s 14 Tests and was rested for the one he missed, against Italy in Florence. Slipper captained the side in 10 of their final 11 internationals.