Anselm McEvoy Oxenham
- 56Wallaby Number
Voy Oxenham was one of three brothers, the others being Vince and Lionel, to play for Queensland. He was the only one to attain the international level. A prop, he was educated at Christian Brothers, Gregory Terrace, and then for his final years went to Nudgee College, both famous rugby nurseries. He was a regular captain for Queensland, and Nudgee’s first international. The 1904 Great Britain side was the third team to Australia to play Tests. The first was Mathew Mullineaux’s British side, the second Jimmy Duncan’s New Zealand team, and this was the third, captained by David Bedell-Sivright. A backrower, Voy was not in the first Queensland team against them, but was selected for Brisbane, which lost 3-17 to them He was playing for North Brisbane at this time. On the basis of his current form he was in Queensland’s return match, another loss, 7 to 18. When the Australian team to play Great Britain at the Brisbane Exhibition Ground was announced, Oxenham was in the team. Seven of the team were from Queensland. Australia lost 3 to 17. Oxenham did not play in the return match in Sydney, despite the fact that eight Queenslanders were selected. This was a consequence of Queensland having three selectors to two from NSW. Australia went down 0-16. No Tests were played in Australia in 1905 and 1906, though a 1905 Australian team went to New Zealand. Oxenham was not on the touring squad.
However in 1907 New Zealand played in Australia, and Voy Oxenham, now playing for Brothers, was selected in the frontrow for Queensland. It was a one-sided match, New Zealand winning 23 to 3. He was also in the return match, lost 11 to 17. His performances rated him his second Test, at the Brisbane Cricket Ground, lost 5 to 14. He was again at prop. Oxenham was not picked for the next Test, the full fifteen coming from NSW. NSW had the casting vote in selection, and it was used ruthlessly used .Perhaps it was the right thing to do, as it was a 5-all draw. Two days before this match, at Bateman’s Hotel in Sydney, a rugby league controlling body was created, and a week later the first openly professional match was staged between NSW and the New Zealand ‘All Golds’. Interestingly, they played the 15-aside game, as the law books had not arrived from England.
When the 1908 Anglo-Welsh team arrived, they did not play a Test, but Oxenham went up against them in the return Queensland game, as a lock (8-11). He also played against them in the final encounter, against Brisbane, again as a lock. Oxenham was not picked in the first Wallaby team to Great Britain in 1908, but when the 1910 New Zealand team toured Australia he captained Queensland against them. The losses were 15-19 and 3-21, and he was in the back-row. Despite being Queensland captain, he could not crack the Test lineup. That same year he captained Queensland against the NZ Maori, losing 8 to 13. That signalled the end of his representative career. He had played two Tests for Australia, and 21 matches for Queensland. A versatile forward, he could play backrow, lock and prop. He was a clerk by profession. Another Oxenham, Brian, was a member of the ill-fated Wallaby tour to the British Isles in 1939.