Arthur Edward Jamieson
- 223Wallaby Number
Arthur Jamieson was a pacy, goal-kicking three-quarter who enjoyed a brief representative career in the mid-1920s.
A prolific try-scorer, Jamieson was born and bred in the New Zealand west coast town of Greymouth, and he played provincial rugby in New Zealand prior to his arrival in Australia. In 1920 Jamieson was chosen at fullback for West Coast against Buller before his employer, the Bank of New Zealand, transferred him to Geraldine. As a ‘sound fullback’ he became a prominent member of the Temuka club from where he represented South Canterbury against both Canterbury and Otago.
Jamieson left South Canterbury in the middle of 1922 and soon thereafter relocated to Sydney where he joined the YMCA club and made his first grade debut in 1923. A year later his good form earned him selection in the New South Wales’ trial matches, for R.C. Cooney’s XV v. V. Treatt’s XV and from there he started for NSW against ‘The Next XV’, where he scored ‘a particularly brilliant try’. At that time New South Wales was blessed with a surfeit of quality wingers including Owen ‘Stumpy’ Crossman, Allen ‘Sheik’ Bowers, Norm Smith and Reg Foote.
Although he did not crack the state team that year Jamieson was selected for the Whites v. Blues curtain raiser to the 2nd ‘Test’ against New Zealand and scored two good tries. The following year Jamieson was added to the NSW ‘second team’ for ‘practise’ ahead of the upcoming three Test home series against New Zealand. Jamieson missed selection for the first and second matches however he was then bracketed with Crossman for the final international. Crossman started, with Jamieson a reserve, however the little Randwick winger had carried leg and shoulder injuries into the match and was forced to retire. As a result Jamieson came off to the bench to make his debut. While disappointed with Crossman’s first half departure the crowd was soon struck with Jamieson’s able play. According to the press of the day he immediately ‘caught the eye with his very sound tackling, and later was brilliant in attack’. Although Jamieson did not know it at the time that match was his official Test debut after an ARU decision in 1994 elevated the remaining 34 New South Wales matches played against international opposition in the 1920-28 period to Test status (the five 1927/28 Waratahs’ internationals were given Test status in 1986).
Jamieson went on to play on the left wing in each of the two final tour matches - for a NSW XV at Newcastle and for E.J. Thorn’s XV at Manly. In that final fixture Jamieson reportedly injured his leg and was seen limping out on the wing. While not confirmed the injury must have been quite serious as Jamieson missed selection for the return tour to New Zealand whose squad was named just three weeks after the Thorn XV match. Adding to the mystery of his non-selection is the fact that there is no record of his rugby career or otherwise from that point in time.
Arthur Jamieson played one Test for Australia and will forever be Wallaby #223.
Jamieson won his first Test cap when he replaced Owen Crossman on the wing in the 3rd Test, 3-11 loss to New Zealand at the Sydney Showground.