Keith Charles "Arch" Winning
- 384Wallaby Number
‘Arch’ Winning is one of just five Wallabies to captain Australia in his first Test and he is one of two for whom that match was also their one and only cap. A squat and powerful flanker, Winning was a rare talent, fast on his feet and a punishing tackler.
Born at Maleny on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, Winning burst onto the Queensland representative scene in 1947 at 19 years of age. Winning did not figure into too many Third Wallabies tour selection predictions as Bill McLean, Col Windon and the giant Roger Cornforth, appeared to be dead-set certainties. When the team was announced, Cornforth was sensationally excluded and Winning found himself in the squad. Unfortunately Winning played in just eight matches due to a lingering groin injury, one which it was thought would put him out of football for the rest of his life, and he missed all of the following season.
A 1949 comeback did not transpire and it was reported that he had ‘retired again’. In 1950, Winning came back to rugby, played for Brisbane against Toowoomba, captained QLD vs. NSW, and was said to be ‘unlucky to miss Test selection’. The next year he was transferred to Sydney by his employer and joined Randwick. Winning returned to Brisbane for six weeks mid-season, linked up with GPS, and then found himself back on the side of the Queensland scrum after selectors omitted both Wallaby incumbent Ian McMillan and fellow flanker Kev Maccheroni. Playing some of the best football of his career, Winning not only earned a Test debut against New Zealand in Sydney but he was also named as captain.
He backed up a week later for the Australian XV vs. All Blacks match in Melbourne but broke his jaw in a tackle on giant lock Bob Duff. Dave Brockhoff took his place for the second Test and although Winning went within a whisker of winning a spot on the 1953 tour to South Africa he did not attain further national honours. Winning died tragically in 2003 while at a Wallaby reunion lunch.
‘Arch’ Winning played one test for Australia and will forever be Wallaby #384.
Winning won his first Test cap at flanker and became the 36th Wallaby to captain Australia in the 1st Test, 0-8 loss to New Zealand at the S.C.G.