Alan Stewart Cameron
- 378Wallaby Number
Alan Cameron is one of the more unheralded Wallabies despite the fact that he played 20 Tests over an eight-year international career, was selected on four overseas tours and had outstanding leadership qualities which saw him captain his country with distinction in four Tests. Cameron was a wonderful lineout exponent and a hard grafter who did his best work in the dark corners of tight forward play. His distinctive cauliflower ears were certainly not attained from seagulling on the blind side of rucks.
Outstanding South African journalist A.C Parker wrote that Cameron ‘established himself on the 1953 tour as a lock of true international calibre’ while well-respected fellow Wallaby Wylie Breckenridge, who took the 1955 Australian team to New Zealand and the 1953 tour to South Africa as manager, maintained that Cameron and Tony ‘Slaggy’ Miller were the most outstanding second row combination Australia had ever produced.
A Newington College graduate, Cameron’s ability was recognised at schoolboy level with back-to-back selections in the GPS Combined Team (1946-1947). In his first year out of school Cameron joined St George where, after just five matches, he was named in the NSW squad to tour Queensland.
In 1949 Cameron debuted for New South Wales in the interstate series but then waited two seasons behind Rex Mossop, Nick Shehadie, Roger Cornforth and Phil Hardcastle before he was named to play his maiden Test against New Zealand in Sydney. From that debut Cameron started 19 consecutive Tests over seven years, a streak that only came to an end due to injury. Those iron-man qualities were also evident during his years of touring. Cameron played nine of 10 games on the 1952 tour of NZ and 12 of 13 three years later. On the South African tour of 1953 he played 20 matches and at the tail end of his career played 22 matches for the Fifth Wallabies. Cameron only played one of the five Tests in Bob Davidson’s team however he captained seven times in uncapped matches to make a superb final contribution.
Cameron won his first Test cap at lock in combination with Queensland’s Con Primmer in the 0-8 loss to New Zealand at the S.C.G. When Primmer withdrew from the second Test team because of his study commitments, Nick Shehadie was shifted to the middle row as Cameron’s locking partner. Primmer returned to partner Cameron in the final Test of what was a 0-3 series defeat.
He started all four internationals of the year - Fiji (2), both with Shehadie, and New Zealand (2), the first paired with Miller and the second alongside Shehadie.
Cameron partnered Miller in the middle row for each of the four internationals on the tour of South Africa.
The Cameron / Miller pairing started both home Tests against Fiji.
Miller and Cameron combined to start all three away Tests on the tour to New Zealand. In the second Test at Dunedin Cameron became the 40th Wallaby to captain his country.
Cameron started alongside Miller in both 0-9 home losses to South Africa.
Miller and Cameron played their final Test together, the 11-25, 1st Test loss to New Zealand at the S.C.G. before the the former captain was forced to withdraw from the 2nd Test in Brisbane due to a knee injury.
Cameron partnered David Emanuel in his final international, the 6-9 loss to Ireland at Lansdowne Road.