Stephen David "Blocker" Roach (born 24 April 1962 in Sydney, New South Wales) is an Australian former rugby league prop forward of the 1980s and early 1990s. He made thirty-nine representative appearances for the Australian national team in Tests and World Cup matches between 1985 and 1991.
1987 was almost completely wiped out for Roach due to a serious knee injury and though he returned to excellent form in 1988 he was cited for a tackle on Penrith's Chris Mortimer suspended for four weeks, missing the 1988 finals including the Grand Final loss to Canterbury.
In the 1989 club season his combination with Paul Sironen, Benny Elias and Wayne Pearce was one of the strongest packs in club rugby league history and the side dominated opposing forwards. In the 1989 Grand Final, after having led Canberra 12 points to 2 at half-time, the Tigers were run down. Roach and Sironen were replaced by coach Warren Ryan late in the 2nd half and when the game ultimately went into extra time they were unable to return and with their strikepower gone in the added period Canberra were able to overpower Balmain 19-14.
In 1991 his club form showed some decline but he again managed national selection and his experience was vital to the improvement of a side needing reorganisation after they suffered a shocking start to the club season. After an ankle injury in 1991 he was also troubled by a knee injury in 1992 which would prove to be his last club season.
In 1985, Roach became the 562nd player to represent Australia when he made his national representative debut in the first Test in Brisbane against New Zealand. His excellent club form for Balmain in 1986 ensured his place on the Kangaroo tour where he appeared in two Tests and seven minor tour matches.
Citations and despatches to the sin-bin in the 1989 club season may have contributed to his ommission by State selectors from the Blues squad of that year however powerful club performances with his fellow representative Balmain forwards made him a certainty for the 1989 New Zealand tour where he played in all three Tests.
On the 1990 Kangaroo tour Roach played in all five Tests against Great Britain and France and in five other minor tour games.
In 1991 he lost his Test place and despite gaining a late call-up for the Papua New Guinea tour he broke his ankle in the first match which was to be his last national appearance.
Known for his aggressive approach and powerful running close to the rucks, Roach was at his peak possibly the number one prop in world rugby league. However he was also notorious for his controversial behaviour on-field, which may have made state and national selectors wary of him at times.
In a game in 1990 against Manly at Brookvale Oval he received a four-week suspension for backchatting the referee Eddie Ward, whom Roach then patted on the head after he was ordered from the field. Coming into physical contact with a referee is regarded as a serious offence and Roach was fortunate that no further action was taken. Roach did himself no favours in this incident when he gave the touch judge a verbal bashing on his way off the field.
After a 3 year stint as assistant coach with Manly, Roach was appointed to the coaching committee of his beloved Tigers - now the Wests Tigers.
His main claim to fame are his impersonations of Julio Iglesias, a woman in a red muu-muu ("Tandoori Lamb Roast" & "Special K" parody commercials), and Sergeant Schultz from 'Hogans Heroes'.
1 Blues marooned 4 Hail Hasler's hair 5 They said it 6 3 Stat of the week 2 Rating the rugby converts Game of the week.
May 19, 2012; Tigers vs Warriors Leichhardt Oval, 9.30 tonight So many subplots here. Benji Marshall versus Shaun Johnson, the master versus...