David Maurice Emanuel

  • 9Caps
  • 425Wallaby Number
Date Of BirthJune 23, 1934
Place of BirthSydney
SchoolTrinity Grammar School & Sydney Grammar School
Debut ClubEastern Suburbs (Sydney)
Debut Test Match1957 Wallabies v New Zealand, 2nd Test Brisbane
Final Test Match1958 Wallabies v New Zealand Maori, 3rd Test Melbourne
DiedFebruary 21, 2021


David Emanuel was an extremely tough, hard working lock / back row forward who was the Wallabies’ premier middle rower in the mid-to-late 1950s. Emanuel was an exceptional lineout jumper, had an excellent scrummaging technique and proved more than proficient in the tight.

Born in Sydney, Emanuel was educated at Trinity Grammar School before he completed his secondary years at Sydney Grammar School. In his final year at SGS, Emanuel played in the 1st XV and was also selected in the GPS 3rd XV (1951). He was also an excellent all-round athlete and captained the school swimming team to the GPS championship.

After school Emanuel played his rugby with Eastern Suburbs where he came under the guidance of Ted Jessep, a dual Wallaby / All Black international, and in his third year with the club earned his first shot at representative level when selected to debut for New South Wales against Queensland. From there he was chosen for his first Wallaby tour, to New Zealand. Emanuel played six matches but did not make the Test team given the presence of the seasoned lock pairing of Alan Cameron and ‘Slaggy’ Miller. To round out a great year, Emanuel won the ‘Sun-Herald Newspaper Award’ and the Fairfax Cup for being the ‘Best and Fairest’ player in the Sydney competition.

In 1957 Australia played a two Test series at home against New Zealand. The Wallabies lost the opening Test 11-25 and the selectors reacted by making five changes, four in the forwards, in an effort to bolster the pack for Brisbane. One of those changes was Emanuel who was called in to make his Test debut albeit in the unfamiliar No.8 position. He was then chosen for the Fourth Wallabies’ tour to the British Isles, France and North America where he started in all five Tests. Upon his return to Australia, Emanuel played against the Maori but then made himself unavailable for the subsequent tour to New Zealand.

David Emanuel played nine Tests for Australia in a two-year international career.



Emanuel won his first Test cap at No.8 alongside fellow debutant Bill Gunther and Keith Cross in the 2nd Test, 9-22 loss to New Zealand in Brisbane.


He started all five Tests at lock on the Fourth Wallabies tour of which four - Wales, England, Ireland and France saw him partnered with ‘Slaggy’ Miller.


Emanuel and Miller were paired in the second row for all three home Tests against the Maori.

David Maurice Emanuel
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