Vale David Grimmond, Wallaby #494

Wed, Jun 5, 2024, 7:12 AM
Classic Wallabies
by Classic Wallabies
David Grimmond will forever be Wallaby #494
David Grimmond will forever be Wallaby #494

The Australian rugby community is mourning the loss of Wallaby 494 David Grimmond, who passed away last Friday aged 80.

David Grimmond was a lightning-fast and superb tackling winger who enjoyed a meteoric rise to rugby fame only to be a controversial omission from the Fifth Wallabies tour to Britain.

Born in the Riverina district of New South Wales at Narrandera, Grimmond was schooled at St. Edmund's College, Canberra. He played his club rugby with Queanbeyan Whites and in 1961 won aged representation for ACT U18s, Country U18s and NSW U18s. The following year he was selected for ACT U21s and in 1963 earned the tag of champion sprinter after he recorded 10 seconds flat for the 100 yards at the Country Athletics Championships.

His breakthrough year came in 1964 when he played for the Whites, ACT, NSW Country and debuted for New South Wales with two tries against Queensland. Grimmond further enhanced his chances for a spot on the Wallaby tour to New Zealand with solid performances in the pre-tour trials. There were three wingers chosen for the tour, the Boyce twins and Grimmond. When Jim Boyce was unavailable for the second Test in Christchurch due to a massive haematoma on the front of his right thigh, Grimmond was chosen for his international debut. New Zealand won 18-3 and Jim Boyce returned for the final Test when the Wallabies caused a major upset with a 20-5 victory.

In 1965 Grimmond struggled to overcome an injured right shoulder but was selected as a reserve for the only two Tests of the year, against South Africa. In 1966 the national selectors overlooked Grimmond in favour of George Ruebner and his kicking abilities for the series against the British Lions. Ahead of the tour to Britain, Grimmond aggravated a hamstring injury and struggled through the final two Wallaby trials. Even so he was a notable omission from the touring party when the selectors opted for Stewart Boyce, Alan Cardy and Victoria’s Dick Webb. In 1968 Grimmond switched codes to play rugby league for Queanbeyan United.

In 2005, Grimmond was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia “for service to Rugby Union football as a player, selector, coach and administrator, and to the community.”

David is survived by wife Beverley, children David Jnr, Justin and Zoe, and grandchildren David Finn, Tom, Jemima, James, Chloe, John, Annie and Beatrix.

View David Grimmond's Classic Wallabies bio here.


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