David Moss Williams

  • 4Caps
  • 137Wallaby Number
PositionHooker
Date Of Birth20 June 1891
Place Of BirthRoma, QLD
SchoolNot known
ProvinceQLD
Died23 July 1964
Service Number2183
Debut Test Match1913 Wallabies v New Zealand, 3rd Test Christchurch
Final Test Match1914 Wallabies v New Zealand, 3rd Test Sydney

Biography

Dave Williams was an outstanding hooker from Toowoomba who played 16 matches for Queensland and four Test matches from 1912 to 1914, before World War 1 intervened. Williams played for the powerful Past Grammars club in the Toowoomba club competition. A salesman by occupation, he first came to the attention of sound judges as a 19-year-old with a strong game in Toowoomba's shock 14-11 win over New South Wales, who had just defeated Queensland 24-3. Packing between ‘Copper’ Kent and ‘Bluey’ Thompson, Williams overshadowed Wallaby hooker Tom Griffin on the day.

The following season, Williams made his interstate debut and figured in Queensland's twin victories over New South Wales in Brisbane. He toured with the State side in Sydney and, in 1913, he played six matches for Queensland — four against New South Wales and two matches against the touring Maori team. In these matches, Williams was often chosen in the second row instead of at hooker because the selectors felt that his physique best matched that of Pat Murphy and so balanced the scrum.

The Sydney matches in 1913 doubled as trials for the Wallaby tour of New Zealand. Along with Toowoomba teammate Sandy Horodan, Williams was one of seven Queenslanders chosen for the tour, although Bob Willcocks (replaced by Tat McMahon) and Norman Lloyd withdrew. Horodan was given just one match on tour (the second Test), while Williams missed the first four matches and played in the last five fixtures. He made his Test debut at Christchurch in the third Test match, which Australia won 16-5. In 1914, Dave Williams was clearly Australia's best hooker and he played in all three Test matches against the touring All Blacks. He looked to have a long future for the Wallabies, but the outbreak of War just prior to the third Test match changed all that.

Williams quickly enlisted and served in the 41st Battalion. On 7 September 1916, his battalion embarked on HMAT Clan McGillivray for the European theatre. Sadly, Williams was wounded and lost an arm. After the War, he maintained his interest in Rugby and became a Queensland selector in 1929 when Rugby resumed there and later became an Australian selector in 1931. He died in 1959.

David Moss Williams