Tate McDermott is arguably the most livewire Wallaby halfback of the professional era. Said to have “darting in his DNA”, McDermott has caused no end of havoc among opposition defence structures with his sniping runs and instinctive forays, especially in and around the heavily trafficked ruck zone.
McDermott played his junior rugby for the Flinders Rugby Club in Buderim, Queensland however his first love was surf lifesaving. That changed in 2012 when childhood mate Matthew Barclay drowned during the U15 board race at the national Surf Lifesaving Championships. "That was a big moment in changing from the surf pathway, cutting it off and sticking to rugby,” McDermott later recalled. After a year-and-a-half at Brisbane State High School, where McDermott wanted to challenge himself in the GPS competition, he moved back to Sunshine Coast Grammar. McDermott said the change was the “best move I could’ve made” for his rugby career, as he stood out rather than being “just another player” among in the rich pool of GPS talent.
Once home, he was spotted by Queensland development officer Paul Carozza (Wallaby #687) and included in the Emerging Reds program. In his final year of school, McDermott represented Queensland Schoolboys before being named as a reserve for the Australia ‘A’ / Barbarians.
Aged just 18, McDermott made his debut for the Australian Men’s Sevens side at Wellington, helped University of Queensland to premierships in both Colts and Premier Grade and played in Queensland Country’s NRC title-winning campaign. In 2018, McDermott made his Super Rugby debut, against the Rebels, before a stellar 2020 campaign, one in which he was instrumental in guiding a re-birthed Reds into their first final since 2011, put his name firmly in the frame for higher honours.
McDermott went on to win his first Test cap, off the bench against New Zealand in Sydney and since that time has been involved in an intricate three-way tussle for the number nine jersey with Nic White and Jake Gordon.
2016/17 Represented Australia in Men’s Sevens
2018 Represented Australia U20s at the 11th World Rugby U20s Championship in France.
2020 McDermott won his first Test cap off the bench when he replaced Nic White in the 60th minute of the 5-43, third Test loss to New Zealand in Sydney. He picked up a second cap one week later in the 24-22 win over the All Blacks in Brisbane.
2021 He earned 13 caps - five as a starter - from the Wallabies’ 14 Tests of 2021. McDermott made his first run-on start in the third Test, 33-30 victory against France in Brisbane, the same match in which he scored his first Test try.
2022 McDerrmott played six Tests with five coming off the bench. His lone run-on XV cap came in the 16-15 win over Scotland at Murrayfield.