Francis Maxwell Elliott
- 420Wallaby Number
Max Elliott was a fiery loosehead prop who overcame a childhood accident and modest schoolboy success to have a decorated career at club level, one that was ultimately crowned by national recognition.
Born in Sydney, Elliott was kicked below his left knee when still a child. The injury prevented the growth of his leg from the knee down. Given he had one leg shorter than the other Elliott played with a built-up left boot. He was educated at The Scots College where he played in the 3rd XV.
After school he played his club rugby with the University of Sydney where he studied Medicine. Elliott enjoyed great success and was part of four winning grand final teams in 1951, and 1953-55. In 1952, Elliott made his senior representative debut for New South Wales against Queensland. When incumbent loosehead Ian Hatherell was unavailable for that year’s tour to New Zealand due to his University exams, Elliott came into the squad as his replacement although he did not play in the Tests.
In 1953 Elliott toured to South Africa but found his hands more than full with the giant props he encountered, particularly Eastern Province’s powerful tighthead Amos du Plooy. So overwhelmed were the Wallabies at scrum time throughout the early matches that locks Col Forbes and Nick Shehadie had to be converted to prop forwards for the Tests. Elliott did not return to the representative scene until 1957 when he was plucked from grade, to cover the unavailability of Shehadie, for the first Test against New Zealand in Sydney. The Wallabies lost 11-25 and the selectors reacted by making five changes, four in the forwards - one of which was Elliott, in an effort to bolster the pack for Brisbane. Elliott was unavailable for the Fourth Wallabies tour of Britain, Ireland, France and North America. The following year he played for his state against Queensland and the Maori before he was kicked in the back in a club game that forced his retirement.
Max Elliott played one Test for Australia and will forever be Wallaby #420.
Elliott won his first Test cap at loosehead prop alongside Jim Brown and Bob Davidson in the 1st Test, 11-25 loss to New Zealand at the S.C.G.