James Alexander Douglas
- 477Wallaby Number
James Douglas was a pacy winger who enjoyed a single tour with the Wallabies in the early 1960s.
A rugged defender who was able to clear the ball with either foot, Douglas was born in Sydney and educated at Yanco Agricultural High School. He won a scholarship with the Rosella Co. and undertook a two-year course at Hawkesbury Agricultural College.
Douglas then moved to Melbourne and eventually linked up with the Melbourne Rugby Club. In 1961 he debuted for Victoria and the following year ran out for his state against the All Blacks. He was then invited to the Wallaby trials for the return tour to New Zealand. In a series of dour struggles across a week of matches, Douglas was a shining light for Probables vs. Possibles. The press of the day wrote that the match “could almost be forgotten except for the performance of Victorian right-winger Jim Douglas. A “don’t care” attitude seemed to prevail and only his grit and determination on the flank made the crowd sit up and take notice.” When the side was named the following day Douglas, “with a dashing game” in the trial, had won a spot in the squad. When Bruce Harland was unable to take his place in the first Test team due to an ankle injury, Jim Boyce shifted to outside centre and Douglas was called up for his Test debut. Douglas’ form improved as the tour progressed and duly held his spot for the final two Tests.
In 1963 he played for Victoria against South Australia a week before the Wallaby trials for the tour to South Africa. Unfortunately, he broke his collarbone and was ruled out of contention. Remarkably a year later he broke a bone in his wrist during a club match that made him unavailable for the trials ahead of the tour to New Zealand. In 1965 he played his final game as the Melbourne Rugby Club won the First Grade premiership.
James Douglas played three Tests for Australia in a one-year international career.
Douglas won his first Test cap on the wing in the 1st Test, 9-9 draw with New Zealand at Athletic Park. He was also capped in each of the final two Tests of that series.