David John Wilson

  • 79Caps
  • 699Wallaby Number
  • 54Age
PositionFlanker
Date Of Birth3 January 1967
Place Of BirthBrisbane
SchoolBrisbane State High School & Ipswich Grammar School
Debut ClubEasts (Brisbane)
Other ClubsHarlequins (ENG)
ProvinceQLD
Debut Test Match1992 Wallabies v Scotland, 1st Test Sydney
Final Test Match2000 Wallabies v South Africa, 3rd Test Durban

Biography

David Wilson was a fit, fast, indefatigable flanker who proved crucial to the success of the Wallabies’ in the late 1990s. Highly talented, determined, single-minded and a tenacious tackler, Wilson reached the pinnacle of world rugby and duly earned universal respect. He was the ultimate team man and while perhaps his best work was done in the darkness of the breakdown Wilson was so vital to the Wallaby set-up that he missed just seven Tests in his nine year career.

Born and bred in Queensland, Wilson attended Brisbane State High School and in 1984 was chosen to play for the Australian U17s. During their tour of New Zealand he missed three GPS games and in one of the more ridiculous decisions found himself dropped to the 2nd XV for the rest of the season upon his return. Understandably unimpressed Wilson repeated his final year at Ipswich Grammar and from there played for Australian Schools.

At the time Queensland were blessed with a raft of top quality backrowers and Wilson had to wait until 1989 for a Reds debut, against Coyo in Mendoza. A year later he was selected for the Emerging Wallabies against England and appeared set to be included on the Wallaby tour to New Zealand before he broke an ankle in a club game with Easts.

In 1992 Wilson returned to play a strong role for Queensland against Scotland and from there earned a Test debut against the tourists in Sydney.

He then started 25 consecutive Tests through to the first match of the 1995 Rugby World Cup. Throughout his Wallaby career Wilson won every international trophy available to an Australian test player - Bledisloe Cup series wins in 1992, ‘94, ‘98, ‘99 & 2000 including the 1999 win as captain, a Rugby World Cup in 1999 and finally a first Tri Nations series win in 2000. Following that Tri Nations victory Wilson moved to the U.K. to play for NEC Harlequins in the Zurich Premiership however a serious knee injury in the 2001 European Shield Final forced him to retire from the game.

David Wilson played 79 Tests for Australia, nine as captain, in his nine-year international career.

Highlights

1984

Represented Australian U17s on their tour of New Zealand.

1985

Represented Australian Schools as vice-captain against New Zealand Schools, Italian Youth, Scotland Schools, Irish Schools and England Schools.

1990

Represented Australia at the Hong Kong 7s.

1991

Represented Australia at the Hong Kong 7s.

1992

Wilson won his first Test cap as the starting openside flanker in the 1st Test, 27-12 victory over Scotland in Sydney. He scored his first Test try in the 23-6 win over Wales in Cardiff. Wilson was in the run-on XV in all eight Tests of the season. Represented Australia at the Hong Kong 7s.

1993

Wilson started all eight Tests of the year at No.7.

1994

Wilson was selected at openside flanker in all six home internationals.

1995

Wilson earned caps in both Tests of the home series against Argentina. He was selected to his first Rugby World Cup and played in three of Australia’s four matches. The disappointment of the World Cup saw selectors change the makeup of the Test team for the Bledisloe Cup series and Daniel Manu was preferred to Wilson for the No.7 spot in both matches.

1996

He was chosen in the run-on XV at openside flanker for all 11 Tests of the season

1997

Wilson played 10 Tests, six at No.7 and four as a replacement. He became the 68th Wallaby to captain his country when he led the team in the 3rd Test loss to New Zealand in Dunedin.

1998

Wilson picked up a career high 12 caps, all as the starting openside flanker, and only missed a 13th when rested for the Rugby World Cup qualifier against Tonga in Canberra. He played his 50th Test in the 45-3 defeat of Scotland in Sydney.

1999

He captained Australia in all seven domestic and Tri Nations’ internationals and was selected to his second Rugby World Cup. Wilson played in five of the Wallabies’ six matches and started at No.7 in each of the three finals.

2000

Wilson played in the opening seven Tests encompassing the home series against Argentina and the Tri Nations before he announced his retirement from international rugby.

David John Wilson