The Australian Rugby community is mourning the loss of nine-cap Wallaby David Maurice Emanuel, who has passed away aged 87.
A hard-working lock and back row forward, Emanuel was the Wallabies’ leading second-rower in the mid-to-late 1950s. Emanuel was an exceptional lineout jumper, had an excellent scrummaging technique and proved more than proficient on the world stage.
Born in Sydney, Emanuel’s Rugby career started at Trinity Grammar School before completing his education and schoolboy Rugby journey at the Sydney Grammar School. In his final year (1951), Emanuel was selected in the school’s First XV, with solid performances also seeing him chosen in the Greater Public Schools Third XV.
Outside of Rugby, Emanuel was an all-round athlete, captaining the school swimming team to a GPS championship in the same year.
After school, Emanuel continued his Rugby journey with Eastern Suburbs, where he came under the guidance of Ted Jessep, a dual international. In his third year with the club earned his first representative cap when he was selected to debut for New South Wales against Queensland.
He was chosen for his first Wallaby tour to New Zealand following his NSW debut, where he played six matches but did not make the Test team. Emanuel won the ‘Sun-Herald Newspaper Award’ and the Fairfax Cup for being the ‘Best and Fairest’ player in the Sydney competition to round out a great year.
In 1957 Emanuel made his Test debut for Australia during a two-match series against New Zealand, earning selection in the second Test in Brisbane. He was then chosen for the fourth Wallabies’ tour to the British Isles, France and North America, where he started in all five Tests. Emanuel played against the Maori upon his return to Australia but then made himself unavailable for the subsequent tour to New Zealand.
He is survived by his sister Janese, two daughters Lisa and Fiona, eight grandchildren Rachel, Benjamin, Steven, Mark, Annabel, Simon, Melanie and Camilla, and four great-grandchildren Emme, Lilah, Matilda and Phoebe.
David Emanuel played nine Tests for Australia in a two-year international career. He was and forever will be, Wallaby #425.