Bevan John Wilson
- 370Wallaby Number
Bevan Wilson was a tigerish rucker and devastating tackler who enjoyed a brief Wallaby career before he switched codes and moved to England.
Raised on Sydney’s north shore, Wilson attended North Sydney Technical High where he played rugby alongside future Australian captain Trevor Allan.
After he graduated Wilson, on the advice of his father, enlisted in the Army where he expected to be sent to Japan with the occupational forces. However, Wilson’s aptitude for mathematics resulted in a posting to southern New South Wales where he designed ordnance survey maps that laid the foundation for one of the world's largest civil engineering projects, the Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Scheme. Wilson also played two seasons of rugby for the Army XV (1946-47).
Wilson returned to Sydney in 1948 where he started a teaching degree, joined Allan at the Gordon club and quickly won a spot in the North v. South trial match. The following season Wilson played himself into the New Zealand touring team with a strong display for Metropolitan in the match against Rest of Australia. Wilson hit the ground running with a ‘tireless’ opening performance against Bay Of Plenty. His play in the early matches was regarded as ‘tight’ and it was written that he had ‘adapted himself well to New Zealand conditions’. Not surprisingly Wilson was named to make his debut in Wellington, played in both winning Tests and helped Australia reclaim the Bledisloe Cup for the first time since 1934.
In 1950 Wilson stunned the rugby community when he signed a four-year contract to play rugby league with the Workington Club in England for the princely sum of £1900. Two years later Wilson was in the side that defeated Featherstone Rovers to win the Challenge Cup at Wembley.
In 1966, more than a decade after he returned to Australia, Wilson was invited to become club coach at Gordon. During his tenure Wilson took the club from cellar dwellers to the penthouse with Grand Final appearances in both 1967 and 1969.
Bevan Wilson played two Tests for Australia in a one-year international career.
Wilson won his first Test cap at prop alongside Nev Cottrell and Jack Baxter in the 1st Test, 11-6 victory over New Zealand at Athletic Park. That same front row was retained for the 2nd Test, 16-9 win at Eden Park.