Phil Kearns
Birth namePhilip Nicholas Kearns
Date of birth (1967-06-27) 27 June 1967 (age 56)
Place of birthSydney, New South Wales, Australia
SchoolNewington College, Sydney
UniversityUniversity of New South Wales
Occupation(s)Commentator, Journalist
Rugby union career
Position(s) Hooker
Senior career
Years Team Apps (Points)
Randwick ()
Provincial / State sides
Years Team Apps (Points)
New South Wales 73[1] ()
International career
Years Team Apps (Points)
1989–1999 Australia 67 (34)

Philip Nicholas Kearns AM (born 27 June 1967) is an Australian former rugby union player. He represented the Wallabies 67 times and was captain on ten occasions. He is a rugby commentator with the Fox Sports TV channel.


Kearns was born in Sydney Australia and educated at Newington College (1979–84)[2] and the University of New South Wales where he graduated with an Arts degree, majoring in Economics.[3] He played his provincial rugby for New South Wales.

He made his Wallaby debut in 1989.

He enjoyed a rivalry on the pitch with New Zealand's Sean Fitzpatrick. During one Bledisloe Cup match he scored a try by barging through Fitzpatrick and then made a two fingered gesture to him, saying something which most TV watchers thought they could lip read.[citation needed] Kearns insisted he said "Two sausages at tonight's barbecue please". The catalyst for this incident was from the previous season when Fitzpatrick sledged Kearns without mercy, telling him to "Go home to your Mummy".[citation needed][4] Mr Kearns has subsequently stated that Mr Fitzpatrick was one of the toughest opponents he played against and that they have subsequently developed a close friendship.

He was a member of Australia's Rugby World Cup-winning teams of 1991 and 1999. Although he was injured midway through the 1999 tournament he is one of only 43 players who have won multiple Rugby World Cups.

In October 2005 in the driveway of his home, Kearns accidentally ran over his 19-month-old daughter, Andie.[5] After a long hospital stay, his daughter made a full recovery. Kearns later launched a driveway safety campaign.[3][6]

Another of Kearns' daughters, Matilda "Tilly" Kearns, is a member of the Australian women's national water polo team competing at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.[7]


Kearns was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in 2017 for significant service to the community through support for charitable organisations, to business, and to rugby union at the elite level.[8]

He was inducted into the Australian Rugby Hall of Fame in 2018.[9]


  1. ^[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ Register of Past Students 1863–1998. Sydney: Newington College. 1999. p. 105.
  3. ^ a b Schmidt, Lucinda (19 May 2010). "Profile - Phil Kearns". The Sydney Morning Herald.
  4. ^ Phil Kearns, University of Queensland Rugby Club, season launch breakfast, 13 March 2020.
  5. ^ "Daughter in critical condition after accident". The Sydney Morning Herald. AAP. 23 October 2015. Retrieved 2 July 2017.
  6. ^ Driveway safety a priority, says Kearns Archived 30 September 2012 at the Wayback Machine, Channel 9 news, 12 Jan 2006
  7. ^ "Get to know Aussie Stinger Tilly Kearns – Delfina Sport".
  8. ^ It's an Honour Retrieved 11 May 2018
  9. ^ "David Pocock wins 2018 John Eales Medal in a landslide". The Sydney Morning Herald. 19 October 2018. Archived from the original on 22 October 2018. Retrieved 22 October 2018.
Sporting positions Preceded byMichael Lynagh Australian national rugby union captain 1992-1995 Succeeded byRod McCall