To find a season where Tom Carter didn’t play in a Sydney University first grade rugby team you’d have to look back nearly a decade and a half.
And as testimony to Tom’s commitment to the club he’s called home for the last 16 years, this weekend he will run out to play his 200th first grade game for University, in their match against Manly, only the 8th player to reach 200 game milestone.
Born in Young in 1983, Tom attended Knox College, on Sydney’s north shore playing for the 1st XV in 1999 and 2000.
Tom’s rugby career continued after school at Sydney University joining the colts in 2001 before going on to make his grade debut in seconds against Manly in 2002.
The following year he made his first grade debut against joining childhood mates Tim Davidson and Will Caldwell in the premier rugby side.
Their selection began a golden age for Sydney University, as University built the teams that went on to win premierships in colts and first grade, consolidating its position as one of the most successful clubs in the Sydney premiership.
The robust and at times abrasive inside centre went on to play three seasons with the Australian Seven’s side before being selected for the NSW Waratahs and making his Super 15 debut in 2008.
Tom Carter retired from the Waratahs in 2013 after playing 76 matches and a total of 84 state games, scoring 95 points for NSW, all from tries.
At the end of his career, he was the 17th highest point scorer for New South Wales.
Carter didn’t retire from the game – going back to play for the students in the seasons that followed. While his time at the Waratahs earned him a list of honours, it’s his roll of achievements at University that reads like a recent history of the club.
Carter played in eight of Sydney University’s first grade premiership sides captaining the team to premierships in 2013, 2014 and 2016, and he holds the record for most Grand Final appearances with 13, ten of those in 1st Grade, two in 2nd Grade and one in Colts.
Tom is also the highest 1st grade try scorer in the clubs history, currently with 98 first grade tries.
Now with 200 games under his belt, Carter says that there is still more games to be played.
“I’ve always said that as long as I can keep contributing positively and I can earn the respect of the team, then I’m willing to keep going back to the well,” Carter said.
As well as continuing to enjoy his rugby Carter now works as a High Performance Coordinator, overseeing the SUFC Athletic Development Program.