Geoffrey Norman Vaughan
- 433Wallaby Number
Geoff Vaughan was a loose-head prop forward noted for his robust scrummaging and fierce tackling who represented Australia before a distinguished career in academia, government and industry.
Born in Sydney, Vaughan started his rugby career in the front row at Homebush Boys’ High School where he played two seasons in the 1st XV (1948-49). In his final year he represented Combined High Schools’ against the University of Sydney, Duntroon Military College and Combined Services.
On leaving school Vaughan enrolled in Science at the University of Sydney but chose to play his rugby for his local club, Western Suburbs where he had played a few odd games while still at school. Unfortunately Wests were relegated so he transferred to Drummoyne in 1951 from where he had a number of representative games with New South Wales Colts, South Harbour and Sydney Metropolitan.
In 1956 Vaughan moved to the University of Melbourne and joined the Powerhouse Rugby Club. Commitments which prevented him from meeting certain club requirements saw him leave to play with the Melbourne University Rugby Football Club and from there he represented Victoria in southern State games, interstate games, and in the 1957 Wallaby trials. He was not selected for the opening two internationals however when Nick Shehadie, who at that point was the most capped Wallaby of all-time, was left out of the team to play England, Vaughan was called up to make his Test debut.
On his return to Australia he was selected as vice-captain for the three Tests against the Maori with one win however it was then that Vaughan chose to prioritise his scientific career and informed the selectors that he was unavailable for the 1958 Wallaby tour of New Zealand.
In 2006, Vaughan was awarded the Order of Australia “For service to scientific research and development, particularly through contributions to the development of government policy initiatives, to the growth of innovative technology-based Australian companies, and to education as a mentor and supporter of young scientists.”
Vaughan won his first Test cap at loose head prop alongside Jim Brown and Bob Davidson in the 6-9 loss to England at Twickenham. That front row trio were retained for the final two Tests of the tour against Scotland and France.
Vaughan earned three caps at loosehead in each of the home Tests against the Maori.