Colin Hedderick Shaw
- 219Wallaby Number
Colin Shaw was a strapping lock forward who rose to national honours following the most significant night-of-the-long-knives selection dramas in the history of Australian rugby.
Born in Edinburgh, Scotland, Shaw aged seven, and his family emigrated to Australia from Glasgow aboard the T.S.S. Ayrshire in 1910.
He was educated at North Sydney Public School and from there linked up with the North Sydney club. Shaw made his first grade debut in 1924 however Charlie Fox, Jack Bonner and Hugh Taylor were the locks chosen for the only big matches of the year, the three Test home series against New Zealand.
A year later Shaw looked set for his first taste of representative rugby when selected for the NSW 2nd XV to play the 1st XV ahead of the inbound tour by the All Blacks. Shaw missed a spot in the first ‘Test’ team to Manly’s Jack Hill however, in hindsight, that proved to be a godsend for two reasons. Firstly, New South Wales were trounced 3-26 and secondly Shaw was subsequently picked in the 2nd XV side for the mid-week, second tour match where the home side stunned the tourists 18-16. As a consequence an incredible 11 members from that 2nd starting XV were promoted to the run-on side for the second test three days later and despite the short turnaround distinguished themselves in a narrow 0-4 defeat. Although Shaw 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). Unsurprisingly an invitation for the subsequent return tour to New Zealand was forthcoming however Shaw suffered an injury in the opening match against Wellington.
As a result Shaw missed three matches and by the time he returned the pairing of ‘Blue’ Judd and Harry Bryant had pushed ahead of him in the pecking order. In 1926 ‘Huck’ Finlay arrived on the scene to heighten the competition for places in the middle row however Shaw still managed to be selected in the 1st XV for the trials ahead of the home series with New Zealand. Unfortunately he suffered fractured ribs and missed all four matches against the All Blacks. A year later Shaw returned to rugby and while chosen for the No. 4 team in the key trial matches for the Waratahs tour to the northern hemisphere he did not secure a spot in the 29-man squad. Shaw married in 1928 and retired from the game.
Colin Shaw played three Tests for Australia in a one-year international career.
Shaw won his first Test cap at lock, in combination with Charlie Fox, in the 0-4, 2nd Test loss to New Zealand at the Sydney Showground. Shaw and Fox were retained in the middle row for the 3rd Test, 3-11 defeat. Shaw picked up a third cap when he came off the bench to replace Wal Rigney, who retired due to a head knock, in the 10-36 loss to a New Zealand side that contained 14 of their 1924/25 ‘Invincibles’.