Gordon Walter Grey Davis
- 411Wallaby Number
Gordon Davis was one of the rare Wallaby backs whose Test debut was made after his 30th birthday. Davis was a slick, penetrating centre three quarter who came from good rugby stock. His uncle Thomas (Wallaby #150) played 20 Tests in the 1920s and his younger brother Clarrie (Wallaby #367) won four Test caps in the late 1940s / early 1950s. He was also a strong defender and brilliant at creating opportunities for his outside supports.
Upon his return from the service in 1945, Davis played his club rugby for Manly. He broke through into the representative ranks in 1948, not long after he ‘turned down a four figure offer’ to play rugby league in England. In a short period he played for City against Newcastle and for North XV versus South XV before he was named to make his provincial debut for New South Wales against Queensland.
In 1952 he left the city for Yeoval, a small village in the Central Western district of New South Wales. It would prove to be an inspired decision. The following year he captained Western Districts Zone, captained Combined Country against Newcastle and played for Country against City. In 1954 he was selected for Country on their tour of New Zealand, played in all bar one of their 11 matches, scored 10 tries, and left local judges notably impressed.
Finally, in 1955, seven long years after his debut season, Davis was again selected to play for his state. He started three games against Queensland and scored two tries in the second match however the fact that his centre partner Jim Phipps scored nine tries outside of him, including five in the third game alone, helped book his ticket for the Wallaby tour to New Zealand. Amazingly, halfback Cyril Burke played inside centre in the 1st Test, 8-16 loss at Wellington, however the backline underwent significant change for the 2nd Test after John Solomon badly dislocated his shoulder against South Canterbury-North Otago-Mid Canterbury and Brian Cox was out injured. Burke was returned to half for Cox and Davis was named to play his maiden Test.
The highlight of his international career came in the 3rd Test when Australia enjoyed an all-too-rare victory at Eden Park.
Davis won his first Test cap at inside centre alongside Jim Phipps in the 2nd Test, 0-8 loss to New Zealand in Dunedin. He retained his place in combination with Jim Phipps in the 3rd Test, 8-3 victory at Eden Park.