David Aubrey Taylor
- 517Wallaby Number
David Taylor was a gifted all-round athlete who established himself as the Wallabies first choice No.8 in the late 1960s before injury forced his premature retirement. Taylor possessed all the key characteristics of a great forward. His basic skills were far more than that given he had, as a schoolboy, tried his hand rather successfully at all the major winter contact sports. He was a strong third option in the line out, cover defended well, and was a key runner off both scrum and lineout manoeuvres. Taylor was also a prodigious kick and had wonderful field vision.
Born in Brisbane and educated at Anglican Church Grammar School, Taylor played centre and fullback in the lower grades. In his final years Taylor moved to No.8 and played two seasons in the 1st XV (1961-62). Taylor made the GPS 1st XV, the All Schools’ cricket team as a fast bowler and Churchie’s athletics team as a shot putter. He spent his first year out of school in Toowoomba and earned selection for the Queensland U19s. Taylor returned to Brisbane to study geology and played one year in the second row for the GPS Old Boys’ Club before he moved to the University of Queensland Club as a No.8 under the tutelage of the inimitable Ashley Girle.
Taylor made his senior representative debut for Queensland against NewSouth Wales in 1965. A year later he faced the British Isles at Lang Park where his performance was good enough to win selection for the Fifth Wallabies tour to the U.K., Ireland, France and Canada. Taylor gained invaluable experience but had to sit in the shadow of the resilient John O’Gorman for the five Test matches.
He went close to winning a first Test cap in 1967 when selected as a reserve (unused) against New Zealand for the NZRFU’s 75th Jubilee celebration match in Wellington. The following year Taylor played for the Junior Wallabies’ against a rampant New Zealand and a few weeks later was rewarded with a Test debut at the S.C.G. Taylor started the next four internationals, including the controversial 18-19 loss in the first ever Test at Ballymore, and looked set for a long and illustrious career before tragedy struck. Playing for Queensland against Victoria in May of 1969 Taylor suffered a serious neck injury which forced his premature retirement from the game.
David Taylor played in five Tests in a one-year international career.
Taylor won his first Test cap at No.8 alongside Greg Davis and Hugh Rose in the 11-27 loss to New Zealand in Sydney. That trio were retained for the next four Tests against New Zealand, France, Ireland and Scotland.