Daniel Joseph Vickerman
- 777Wallaby Number
Dan Vickerman was an abrasive, fiercely competitive and uncompromising lock of the highest order. Widely regarded as one of the great lineout exponents of the modern era, Vickerman had the rare distinction of representing both South Africa, and his adopted Australia, at U21 level.
Born in the western Cape of South Africa, Vickerman was educated at Bishops Diocesan College, Cape Town. After graduation he attended Stellenbosch University but then moved to Australia in 2000 to attend the University of Sydney. Not surprisingly a 6 foot 7 tall, 20 stone, no-nonsense second-rower caught the eye of the all three Australian provinces.
Vickerman signed with the ACT Brumbies in 2001 and made his Super Rugby debut against the Sharks in Durban.
His selection for Australia ‘A’ sealed his future allegiance and he soon made his Test debut against France in Sydney. Vickerman became a vital cog in the Wallaby line-up over the next six seasons despite suffering near back-to-back shoulder reconstructions in 2005-06.
In 2008 he left rugby, and Australia, to study at Cambridge University. Vickerman’s final season was a remarkable comeback in itself, as he returned to the Test arena after a three-year hiatus and won his way to a third Rugby World Cup.
In 2012 he retired, due to stress fractures in the tibia of his right leg, with 63 Tests to his name. Dan Vickerman was an uncompromising competitor who forged a wonderful international rugby career. The Australian rugby community was rocked by his sudden passing at just 37 years of age.
Represented Australia at the SANZAR-UAR U21 tournament.
Vickerman won his first Test cap off the bench when he replaced Nathan Sharpe in the 31-25, 2nd Test victory over France in Sydney. He was selected for the Wallabies’ Spring Tour and picked up a further three caps. Vickerman made his run-on XV debut at lock in the 17-6 win against Argentina in Buenos Aires.
Vickerman earned 11 Test caps from Australia’s 14 internationals. He was picked in the squad for the Rugby World Cup where he won replacement caps in the pool game against Ireland and in the quarter-final with Scotland.
He played in all 12 Tests and started each of the four Spring Tour matches alongside Justin Harrison.
Recovery from a shoulder reconstruction saw Vickerman miss the first four Tests of the season. He returned to win four successive caps before he re-injured the shoulder against South Africa in Pretoria.
Vickerman started in each of the opening 10 Tests but was forced to return home from the Spring Tour after he injured his right shoulder in the 29-29 draw with Wales.
Vickerman won 11 Test caps, the final ten of which were in the run-on XV. He was selected to his second Rugby World Cup and played in four of Australia’s five matches. Vickerman won his 50th Test cap in the 32-20 pool game win over Wales at Cardiff.
Vickerman picked up three caps before he walked away from rugby and left Australia to study land economics at Cambridge University.
Vickerman returned to Australia in the middle of 2010 in a late bid to make the 2011 Rugby World Cup. He was picked in the squad for the Rugby Championship and from there won a spot in the squad to his third World Cup. Vickerman started in four of Australia’s matches including the quarter-final against South Africa and the semi-final against New Zealand. He played a total of eight Tests during the year.