Kenneth John Donald
- 419Wallaby Number
Ken Donald was a lightning fast, diminutive winger with exceptional evasive skills who trialled for the 1956 Olympic Games team before he won a spot on the end of the Wallaby backline in the late 1950s.
Born at Ipswich, Donald was educated at Ipswich Grammar School where his athletic prowess came to the fore. In 1954 he triumphed in the GPS Open 100 yards the following year won the Open 220 yards. He even made the final of the Australian Open 100 yards and although unplaced, took consolation that the winner, Hector Hogan, went on to win a bronze medal at the 1956 Olympic Games. After school, Donald attended the University of Queensland to study medicine.
In 1957, Donald made his representative debut for Queensland against New South Wales and showed enough promise in the two interstate clashes to win a Test debut against New Zealand in Sydney. During the match he broke three metacarpal bones in his right hand in a tackle by All Black fullback Don Clarke. As there were no replacements allowed, Donald played half the match injured and from there spent the next several weeks in plaster before he returned in time for the Fourth Wallabies’ selection trials. Donald played 15 matches, including all four Tests in Britain, and scored 11 tries.
He played against the Maori in 1958 and the British Lions in 1959 but then retired to complete his medical studies. In a remarkable comeback, aged 34, Donald returned for Queensland against Scotland in 1970 and scored a try for good measure. He then toured New Zealand with the Maroons before he retired permanently at the end of that season. Donald also managed the Wallabies to their first successful Bledisloe Cup defence in 1980.
Ken Donald played nine Tests for Australia in a three year international career.
Donald won his first Test cap on the left wing in the 11-25, 1st Test loss to New Zealand at the S.C.G.
Donald played in the first four internationals of the Fourth Wallabies tour against Wales, Ireland, England and Scotland but withdrew from the French international with an injured thigh. He scored his first Test try in the 8-12 loss to Scotland at Murrayfield.
Donald missed the first Test against the Maori as he continued to recover from a thigh injury but was recalled on the left wing for the two final Tests of that series. Donald was not available for the tour of New Zealand given he was required to sit medical school exams at that time.
Donald played his final Tests on the left wing in the two home losses to the British Lions.