David Peter Alexander Dix
David Dix was a spring-heeled, athletic lock who is just one of eight Wallabies to play on two overseas tours yet remain uncapped at Test level. What made Dix somewhat unique from the other seven is that he achieved the feat despite not being selected in either of the initial touring teams.
Born, bred and educated in Sydney, Dix attended the Shore school where his main sport was rowing. He played a single season of 1st XV rugby as the side shared the 1985 GPS premiership with St Josephs. Dix earned selection in the GPS 3rd XV however a stroke of luck won him an unlikely trial for Australian Schoolboys. The Shore 1st VIII was in New Zealand where they rowed in a regatta as the Australian Schools VIII. An eight from Queensland also attended the event, including someone with connections to the Brisbane Grammar School. At that time Brian Short, the coach of the Australian Schoolboys, was at BGS and known to be on the lookout for high jumping line-out prospects. The next thing he knew, Dix was picked on the Australian Schools tour to the U.K. and Europe under the captaincy of Ricky Stuart. The side went through the tour undefeated and following their return home team manager John Rae nominated Stuart, Albert Fulivai, David Wilson and Dix as potential Wallabies.
In 1986 Dix moved to Quirindi where he made his first grade debut alongside fellow future Wallaby David Carter. Dix returned to the city in 1987 and enrolled to study Agricultural Economics at the University of Sydney. Two years later Dix enjoyed a breakout season when he was runner-up to Simon Poidevin in the Rothmans Medal Award for the Sydney player of the year. However, his year reached even greater heights when he was named as a late replacement for Steve Tuynman on the Wallaby tour to North America and France. That selection forced Dix to abandon a University tour of Argentina in order to link up with the national team for a three-day camp prior to their departure. Coach Bob Dwyer said that he believed Dix had ‘outstanding potential’ however the tour for him was essentially a learning experience as Peter FitzSimons and Rod McCall were paired in the middle row for both French internationals. Nonetheless, Dix made his Australian debut in the tour opener against the North American Wolverines where it was written that he “performed outstandingly”.
Dix returned home a far better player for the experience and the following year he debuted for Sydney (vs. Australian Barbarians) before being named in the Australian Emerging Players squad for their tour to England and Europe. In 1991, Dix was chosen for the Australian Barbarians when they faced Western Samoa (L 24-36) in a World Cup warm-up fixture before he was called into the Wallaby squad for their own short, pre-RWC tour of New Zealand. However, Dix respectfully declined the invitation given he had already committed to a departure for Cambridge University to study Land Economy. His season then ended with a fourth place finish behind Marty Roebuck in the Rothmans Medal standings.
While at Cambridge Dix twice won rugby ‘Blues’ (1991-92) and was at college when the Wallabies arrived for their tour to Ireland and Wales in late 1992. Unfortunately the Australians suffered an injury crisis, one that hit new heights after John Eales was said to be no more than a 50:50 for the Welsh test after he strained the capsule of his left shoulder early in Australia’s 9-13 shock loss to Llanelli. Five days later Garrick Morgan was ruled out for the rest of the tour after he tore abdominal and groin muscles in the 19-9 win over Monmouthshire. In a tight corner, Australia was forced to call up three players -- Poidevin, Dix and Brendan Nasser -- from outside the 30-man squad to face a Welsh Students past and present side at Bridgend.
Dix then joined Harlequins before he returned to Australia in 1994 and linked up with Gordon. Dix officially retired after the 1995 Shute Shield grand final victory over Canberra however he did strap on the boots again in his early 40s, for Yokohama Country and Athletic Club in Japan, and was a member of the side that won the 2009 East Japan Cup.
Represented Australian Schools
Dix debuted for Australia in the uncapped fixture against the North American Wolverines at Ontario (W 24-6). In France he started three matches - against Languedoc Regional Selection (L 10-19), Auvergne Province (L 10-19) and L’ile de France (L 19-21).
Dix played his final match for Australia against the Welsh Students (W 37-6).