Donald Richard Lowth
- 448Wallaby Number
Don Lowth was a powerful loose forward who overcame disqualification and injury to play Test rugby for Australia.
Born in the Whitsunday region of Queensland, Lowth was educated at Anglican Church Grammar School (Churchie) in Brisbane where he played his first rugby. Lowth then studied at the University of Queensland and played in the 1949 Intervarsity Carnival.
After he left University, Lowth played for GPS Old Boys (1952-53). Unfortunately that was the year that Lowth and teammate Jack Hurrell made the mistake of helping out the touring American All Stars Rugby League Team which, as a result of injuries, could not field a full team for their tour match in Ipswich. They played in the game and were subsequently suspended by the Queensland Rugby Union until the end of the season.
The following year, Lowth moved to Melbourne and joined the Melbourne Rugby Football Club. He had a very good season, scored over 100 points and as a result was selected to represent Victoria against Fiji. In 1955 he toured with Victoria and played against New South Wales at Manly Oval. Lowth’s performance so impressed Alan Roper, the coach of Manly and later Australia, that he invited him to consider a move north and play for Manly.
After a year away from rugby in rural Victoria, Lowth accepted Roper’s invitation and moved to Sydney. He was promoted to First Grade after only a few games and played his way into the Wallaby Trials for the 1957/58 Fifth Wallabies tour. Unfortunately, an anterior cruciate ligament injury, which required him to wear a splint for a couple of months, ruled him out of contention. Lowth worked hard on his rehabilitation all through the off-season and pre‑season periods and in 1958 he debuted for New South Wales against Queensland in both interstate fixtures. His good performances earned him a spot on the Wallaby tour to New Zealand. When John Thornett withdrew from the opening Test in Wellington, Lowth was called in to make his Test debut. Australia were humbled 25-3 and Thornett returned for Christchurch.
In 1960, Lowth switched codes to play rugby league for North Sydney.
Lowth made his Test debut at flanker alongside Chilla Wilson and Kevin Ryan in the 1st Test, 3-25 loss to New Zealand at Athletic Park.