Donald Earle Copeman Bull
- 259Wallaby Number
Don Bull was a country-born centre who came to the fore in the late 1920s, after the Waratahs momentous tour and immediately prior to the return of rugby in Queensland.
Born in the Barraba district of New South Wales, Bull was educated at Glen Innes’ New England Grammar School. He played both rugby and rugby league in his post-school days however his representative opportunity emerged in the 15-man game in 1927 when he was chosen for the North-West regional side to compete at the Country Week Carnival. His performances at that carnival earned him selection on the Combined Country 2nd XV.
The following season Bull again came to the big smoke with North-West where he showed ‘vast improvement on his form of a year ago’ and later attracted the State selectors’ eyes with his efforts for the Combined Country 1st XV. He could not have been noticed at a better time given that the long 1927/28 Waratahs’ tour to the Northern Hemisphere had seen 13 tourists either retire or declare themselves unavailable ahead of the upcoming tour to New Zealand. The 26-man squad, which remained fluid right up until the time of their departure on the Ulimaroa, included four centre three-quarters – Cyril Towers, Robert Burge, Cliff Caldwell and Bull.
He played in four of the 10 matches, the third of which was against the Maori in Palmerston North. Although he did not know it at the time that match was also his Test debut after an ARU decision in 1994 to retrospectively grant Test status to all New South Wales fixtures played against international opposition in the 1920-28 period (the five 1927/28 Waratahs’ internationals had been granted Test status in 1986).
Upon his return home Bull was transferred by the Bank of New South Wales to various regional centres including Singleton, Moree and Orange however the return of Sid King and the emergence of Victoria’s Gordon Sturtridge and Dave Cowper denied him further representative opportunities.
Don Bull played one Test for Australia and will forever by Wallaby #259
Bull won his first Test cap at inside centre, alongside Cyril Towers, in the 8-9 loss to the Maori at Showgrounds Oval. Unfortunately he broke his nose in the early stages of the match and was replaced by Bob Burge.