Ludwig Samuel Meibusch
- 119Wallaby Number
Lou was born in Toowoomba on 26 March 1893. He died on the 1 December 1965 and is buried in the Toowoomba cemetery. He was one of eleven children, five of whom played for Queensland. Lou played for the Toowoomba club, the Valley Club and Warwick. Only Lou and his older brother Jack went on to play for Australia. He worked at the Toowoomba Post Office. Lou came to prominence when Toowoomba beat NSW 14-11 in 1911. His brothers Bob and Frank were also in the team. Lou’s performance in the three-quarter line (wing) won him a place in the Australia team which would tour America and Canada in 1912.
Like his brother Jack, Lou had one Test cap which he gained in Australia’s tour of America and Canada in 1912 . Lou was only 18 years old when he toured. Australia beat the U.S.A team 12-8 at Berkeley, California. He scored twice in the game, earning him is only Test points. In addition to his Test cap, Lou has 15 non-Test caps. His Wallaby number is 119. When the Queensland Rugby Union was disbanded in 1919, Lou represented Toowoomba and Queensland at Rugby League. However, he played a vital role in the revival of Rugby Union in the Toowoomba area during the 1930s.
There had to be an element of luck in Lou Meibusch getting on the 1912 tour of North America, because of his age and lack of representative experience. However he was selected and he played in 11 non-Test matches. The Test he did play on that tour was an historic one, as it was the first Test ever between Australia and the USA. Some of the USA players had been on their 1910 tour of Australia; such as Benny Erb and Augie Sanborn. Some 24 players , under captain Ward Prentice and manager Dr. Otto Bohrsmann, assisted by Billy Hill, played 16 games in North America, 13 in the USA and three in Canada.
The Australians won 11 and lost five of their matches, a disgrace considering the level of the opposition. All of the Canadian games were lost. The players were quartered at fraternity houses in the United States, and the Aussie lads fitted into the party atmosphere to the detriment of their rugby. here were 10,000 at the game, and the USA led 5-0 at halftime, which became 8-0 soon after the break. ‘Bobs’ writing in the San Francisco Chronicle summed it up: “Australia 12, America 8. These are the cold figures, but they do not give you any idea of the game. If ever a team looked to be hopelessly outclassed the Waratahs [sic] were not slow in realising the situation and snatching the game out of the fire.”
The young Meibusch scored two tries, and Dan Carroll one, while the captain Ward Prentice kicked a penalty goal. The New Zealand Maori came to Australia in 1913, and Lou Meibusch was in the 19 to 9 victory, and scored a try. He did not play in the return match, but another of his brothers, Bob, lined up against them in the forwards. Lou Meibusch was selected for his second tour, to New Zealand in 1913. Captained by Larry Dwyer, the 24-man party played nine matches, and Meibusch played in only three of them, against Taranaki (11-9, try), Wanganui (6-11) and South Canterbury (16-3) where he was replaced by Dudley Suttor because of an injury. Thus he missed out on the single Test. Though still going strong, that ended his contribution at the higher level of the game, the War coming on a year later.