Alan Ridley Morton
- 422Wallaby Number
Alan Morton was one of Australia’s premier wingers of the mid-to-late 1950s. Strong, tough and always very fit, Morton was an incredibly powerful runner, brilliant in attack, and equally devastating in defence.
Born in Queanbeyan, Morton was educated at Canberra High School, Sydney Teachers’ College and the University of Oregon (U.S.A.). He played two seasons of club rugby for St George (1954-55), and was the leading try scorer in the Sydney competition in that second year, before he moved to Randwick. In 1956, Morton made his representative debut for New South Wales against Queensland and that same season was again the leading try scorer in the Sydney competition.
In 1957 Australia played a two Test series at home against New Zealand. Ahead of the 1st Test both inside centre Saxon White and his replacement Herb Barker withdrew due to injury and Rod Phelps, originally selected on the right wing, was shifted into the centres. As a consequence, Morton was called in for his Test debut in Sydney. Later that season, Morton was chosen for the Fourth Wallabies tour to the British Isles, France and North America. Unfortunately he was handicapped by asthma and his lone Test appearance came against France. Morton then started the next eight consecutive Tests through to the end of the 1959 season.
Following a successful Wallaby tour to New Zealand in 1958 he was selected as one of The Five Best Players of the Year by the New Zealand Rugby Almanack.
In 1960, a year when Australia did not play any Test rugby, Morton moved to North America to further his University studies. He was captain/coach at the University of Oregon and won selection as vice-captain of the State of Oregon team that toured England and Wales in 1966. When Morton returned to Perth he captained and coached the Western Australia Rugby team in inter-state and international games.
In 1970, at the age of 37, he was captain/coach of Western Australia against the All Blacks.
In 2001, Morton was awarded the Member of the Order of Australia for the development of Sports Science in Australia especially the effects of physical training on the cardiorespiratory system.
In 2003, he and David Campese were picked on the wings when Randwick selected their “Dream Team” from the previous 80 years.
Alan Morton played 11 Tests for Australia in a three-year international career.
Morton won his first Test cap on the right wing in the 11-25 loss to New Zealand at the S.C.G. He retained his spot, and scored his first Test try, in the 2nd Test, 9-22 defeat in Brisbane.
Morton missed the four internationals in Britain as he battled asthma but recovered to start on the right wing in the 0-19 loss to France in Paris.
Morton was capped in all six Tests of the year. He started on the right wing in all three home matches against the Maori, moved to the left wing with Eddie Stapleton on the right for the 1st Test, 3-25 loss to New Zealand in Wellington before a return to the right flank for the final two Tests of that series.
Morton played his final Tests, again on the right wing, in the two home losses to the British Lions.