David John Knox

  • 13Caps
  • 651Wallaby Number
  • 58Age
PositionFly Half
Date Of Birth7 August 1963
Place Of BirthSydney
SchoolMatraville High School
Other ClubsPetrarca Padova (ITA), Livorno (ITA), Bristol (ENG), Narbonne (FRA)
ProvinceNSW
Other ProvinceNatal (SAF)
Debut Test Match1985 Wallabies v Fiji, 1st Test Brisbane
Final Test Match1997 Wallabies v Argentina, 2nd Test Buenos Aires

Biography

David Knox was the closest thing Australia had to Mark Ella after the great fly half’s retirement. Clearly there was something magic in the water of Matraville given it was there that the three Ellas, Lloyd Walker and Knox developed their games. Knox possessed superb ball and handling skills, and could dominate a game through his ‘bag of tricks’. He was suitably enigmatic and while public opinion of him was divided there was little doubt he was a true genius of the game.

Two facts are irrefutable about Knox. Firstly, opposition sides were doomed once Knox got the run of the ball and secondly he had a remarkable tactical talent for game management. He was also an exceptional left-footed goal kicker who retired as Australian club rugby’s highest point scorer of all-time. From Matraville High, Knox developed an impressive representative CV at both school and aged levels but then found his path to national honours far more difficult given the presence of both Ella and Michael Lynagh. Knox’s first break came when Ella retired after the 1984 Grand Slam tour to the U.K. and Ireland. The following year he made his debut for New South Wales against Queensland at Ballymore and when Lynagh was ruled out with a knee injuryfor the home series against Fiji, Knox came in for his Test debut in Brisbane. He held his spot for the second Test but then waited the best part of five years to win a third cap.

In 1991, and despite only having played one international in six years, Knox was selected to his first Rugby World Cup. While he did not play a match during the tournament Knox did return home as a World Champion. Amazingly Knox then endured a four-year hiatus for a fourth cap however it was more than worth the wait as he ran rings around a punch drunk Western Samoan defence in Sydney. Eleven days later Knox was at it again in the one-off Bledisloe Cup Test. Australia kicked-off, All Black lock Mark Cooksley failed to secure the ball and it was tidied up by Ewen McKenzie.

George Gregan quickly cleared to Knox who hoisted a high Garryowen from 10 metres outside the quarter-line. Jason Little raced through and without taking his eyes from the ball soared above fullback Shane Howarth to claim the inch-perfect kick and score a dramatic try after just fifteen seconds. At the ripe old age of 33 Knox enjoyed a two-season recall to Test rugby and the silky skills of days gone by had certainly not deserted him. David Knox played 13 Tests for Australia in a rather extraordinary 13-year international career.

Highlights

1980

Represented Australian Schools

1981

Represented Australian Schools

1984

Selected in the Australian U21s squad against New Zealand Colts.

1985

Knox won his first Test Cap at fly half in the 1st Test, 52-25 defeat of Fiji in Brisbane and scored an Australian debut record of 21 points (3C, 3PG, 2DG). A week later Knox maintained his spot for the 2nd Test, 31-9 win in Sydney.

1990

Knox earned a single cap off the bench when he replaced Jason Little at outside centre then switched to fly half in the 67-9 defeat of the U.S.A. at Ballymore.

1994

He won two caps at No.10. The first in the 73-3 triumph over Western Samoa in Sydney and the second in the 20-16 one-off Bledisloe Cup Test victory over New Zealand.

1996

Knox started at fly half in three of the four Tests - Italy, Scotland and Ireland - on the end-of-season tour to the U.K. and Europe

1997

Tim Horan broke his thumb against the All Blacks in Melbourne and Knox was recalled to play his final five Tests, the highlight of which was a sublime performance in the 1st Test, 32-20 victory over South Africa in Brisbane. In the 1st Test, 23-18 win against Argentina in Buenos Aires, Knox kicked six penalty goals to become the seventh Australian to score 100 Test match points.

David John Knox