Francis Gabriel McPhillips
Francis McPhillips was born in 1913 in Wagga Wagga, NSW. After leaving school he moved to Sydney where he joined the Drummoyne District Rugby Club.
In 1932 he played his only game for NSW as fullback against New Zealand at Sydney on 6th July. Like George Mackay, he was playing as a fullback at the same time as Alex Ross but as a result of this single game for NSW he was chosen as Alex Ross’s understudy on the Wallabies’ 1933 tour of South Africa. Although he did not win a Test cap on this tour he played in eight games against other South African teams, scoring a total of ten points in these games/one try, one penalty goal, one drop goal.
At the time of his selection on the 1933 tour of South Africa, McPhillips was a mere 20 -years -of -age, was 5’11” and weighed 161 pounds. He was four inches taller than the captain and number one fullback, Alex Ross.
McPhillips played in only eight of the 23 tour games, against Rhodesia (24-5), Rhodesia again (31-0, dropped goal), Western Province (9-13, penalty goal), North Eastern Districts (31-11), South Western Districts (21-14, try), Eastern Province (18-3), Western Province Universities (3-3) and Western Province Town and Country (0-4). Ross, as captain, was attempting to play as many games as possible on tour, but was injured, and the decision was made to put Jack Steggall at fullback until Ross had recovered.
McPhillips actually played on the wing and in the centre at times. In only three of the matches did he play in his selected position.