David Ronald Burnet
- 548Wallaby Number
Dave Burnet was an explosive, strong-running centre and a clever tactical kicker who had a short career in Wallaby gold before he switched codes. A product of Knox College, Burnet quickly made his way in grade rugby after leaving school and was a regular in First Grade with Gordon while still a teenager. He won his first representative honours in 1971 when he played for Sydney against New South Wales Country and then for both New South Wales and the Junior Wallabies against the touring Springboks.
The following year incumbent outside centre David L’Estrange was unavailable after he fractured his tibia at the ankle against New South Wales and Burnet was selected to make his Test debut in Sydney. Burnet emerged from that spiteful series with a reputation and body reasonably well intact. As such he was one of the easier selections for the imminent tour of New Zealand where they faced an All Black side desperate to recover ground after consecutive series losses to South Africa and the Lions.
For all the team's lack of success, Burnet was rated one of the two leading players on tour, along with Queensland winger Jeff McLean. In 1973 he was chosen for the short tour to England, Wales and Italy however he suffered a leg injury and duly missed Test selection.
The following year Burnet switched codes to play rugby league with North Sydney.
Burnet won his first Test cap at outside centre alongside David Rathie in the 1st Test, 14-14 draw with France at the S.C.G. He and Rathie were retained for the 2nd Test, 15-16 loss at Ballymore. Burnet played outside David L’Estrange in all three Bledisloe Cup Tests before he partnered with Peter Rowles, and scored his first Test try, in the 21-19 victory over Fiji in Suva.