Neill Buchanan Latimer
- 428Wallaby Number
Neill Latimer was a tall, mobile lock who revelled in the ruck and impressed in cover defence.
Born in Brisbane, Latimer was educated on Sydney’s north shore at Knox Grammar School. Latimer joined the Gordon club where he was described as ‘the discovery of the 1953 season’. Unfortunately his breakthrough season was tempered by the fact that his employment took him to the Northern Territory. As a consequence Latimer played just five games in 1954, and none at all in 1955 and 1956.
In 1957 Australia played a two Test series at home against New Zealand. Former Wallaby captain Alan Cameron carried a knee injury into the first Test at the S.C.G. but was forced to withdraw from the Brisbane Test. According to the press of the day, the Australian selectors made two ‘startling’ changes for the second Test. Latimer, who had never played for a senior representative team - Sydney, Metropolitan or New South Wales - but had once been chosen for North Harbour 2nds, was selected to replace Cameron and make his Test debut. Unfortunately, Latimer missed selection for the Fourth Wallabies tour to Britain where Dave Emanuel and ‘Slaggy Miller’ established a second-row partnership that extended into the 1958 season.
Neill Latimer played one Test for Australia and will forever be Wallaby #428.
Latimer won his first Test cap at lock in combination with ‘Slaggy’ Miller in the 2nd Test, 9-22 loss to New Zealand in Brisbane.