Bryant Timothy Gavin
- 670Wallaby Number
Tim Gavin was one of the truly great players of his era however he suffered a huge disappointment when forced to miss the 1991 World Cup victory due to injury. A barnstorming No.8 with an immense physical presence, Gavin was tough, uncompromising and never took a backward step.
Born in the central west of New South Wales at Gilgandra, Gavin was educated at The Scots College in Sydney’s east where he played two years in the 1st XV.
He toured New Zealand with Australian Schools and after graduation joined the Eastern Suburbs club. Gavin then served a lengthy apprenticeship behind Wallabies Steve Tuynman, Peter Lucas and Jim McInerney before he made his debut for New South Wales against the ACT in 1987. The following year Australia were thumped 7-32 in the opening Test of the three match home series against New Zealand and as a consequence the selectors made four changes, including a debut for Gavin, for the 2nd Test at Ballymore.
Over the next three seasons he established himself as the Wallabies’ first choice No.8. With the second Rugby World Cup fast approaching he was an integral part of Bob Dwyer’s backrow, along with Simon Poidevin and Willie Ofahengaue, and he formed a lethal scrum-base combination with Nick Farr-Jones. His performance in Australia’s 40-15 thumping of a full strength England side just three months out from the tournament was rated by many as one of the finest ever seen by a Wallaby in his position. Unfortunately, disaster struck in a club match at Concord Oval when Gavin suffered a knee injury that ruled him out of contention for the Australian squad. After a full reconstruction Gavin returned to Test rugby and went on to play 25 consecutive internationals from the 1992 South African tour until the end of the 1995 season.
Tim Gavin played 47 Tests for Australian in his nine-year international career.
Selected in the Australian Schools squad for their tour of New Zealand.
Gavin won his first Test cap as the starting No.8 in the 2nd Test, 19-19 draw with New Zealand at Ballymore. Two weeks later he retained his spot for the 3rd Test, 9-30 defeat. Gavin was selected on the Wallaby tour to the U.K. and Europe. He was a late inclusion to play No.8 against Scotland after Steve Tuynman fell in his bathtub and he came off the bench in the 55-6 defeat of Italy in Roma. Represented Australia at the Hong Kong 7s.
Gavin played three Tests, the first off the bench against New Zealand in Auckland and then at No.8 for the two Tests against France in Strasbourg and Lille.
He started all seven Tests of the season wearing the No.8 jersey and scored his first Test try in the 2nd Test, 48-31 victory over France in Brisbane.
Gavin was capped in the opening three Tests of the year, against Wales, England and New Zealand in Sydney but missed the Bledisloe Cup decider and the Rugby World Cup after he injured his knee in a club game for Eastern Suburbs.
He returned from injury to start both Tests of the home series against Scotland however a badly corked thigh to the same leg which had the knee reconstruction saw Sam Scott-Young picked at the back of the scrum for the three Tests against New Zealand. Gavin played No.8 in the final three internationals against South Africa, Ireland and Wales.
Gavin earned caps in all eight Tests as did six other members of the Australian pack - David Wilson, Garrick Morgan, Rod McCall, Ewen McKenzie, Phil Kearns and Tony Daly.
Gavin played every minute of all six Wallaby internationals as the run-on XV No.8.
Gavin and John Eales were the only Australian forwards to be capped in all eight Tests of the season. He was selected to his first Rugby World Cup and started all four matches at the back of the scrum.
In his final season of international rugby Gavin picked up three caps, as a replacement lock in the 2nd Test against New Zealand, at No.8 in the 2nd Test against South Africa and as the starting lock in the 28-19 win over Wales in Cardiff.