Phillip Andrew Clark
Phil Clark, a utility back, had a short Australian career and never played a Test, although the stiff competition from Cyril Towers, Jack Steggall, Dave Cowper, Syd King and Gordon Sturtridge meant the field was rather crowded. He made his Queensland debut in 1931 as a 20-year-old and toured New Zealand but only played two matches, one at either end of the tour.
In common with many University men of the time Clark dropped out of big-time rugby after he graduated and concentrated on earning a living in the harsh days of the Depression.
His first match was against Southland, always a tough opponent for a young player, and at that time one that had never lost to Australia. That record was maintained on a fine day but a heavy ground and Australia did not have a good time of it. The forwards were beaten badly in the loose and the backline, which included several young players on debut, struggled against their more experienced opposites and compounded those problems by frequent mishandling. As a result Southland won 14-8 and the tour selectors took a dim view of some of the youngsters.
Clark, Steggall and Harold Tolhurst played another six matches between them on tour, even if Steggall did make the Test team. Clark was not chosen again for a month and got his second outing in the tour’s final match, against Waikato-King Country. This game was played on a dry ground and Australia played in good style against their modest opponents, with the backs enjoying the space and freedom to run. Clark scored two tries and had a major part in another, giving a most competent display.
Clark again represented Queensland in 1932 and 1933 but did not play against the 1932 All Blacks in any of the tour matches.
He was only 22 when he retired from representative rugby.