Robert Alfred Lewars Davidson
- 389Wallaby Number
Bob Davidson was a more than mobile prop forward who became the fifth Wallaby entrusted to captain Australia on a major tour to the United Kingdom. He was considered a trifle light in weight for his position and did not possess the physical presence or the technique to match however Davidson always rose to the challenge and never let his side down.
Born and raised in Newcastle, Davidson attended Newcastle Technical High School. He captained both the school and, from fly half, the rugby team. Davidson moved on to Sydney Teachers’ College where, as a fast and fearless flanker, he played in the side which won the mid-week competition two years in a row (1945-46).
When the touring team was announced incumbent skipper Dick Tooth was a shock exclusion and Davidson found himself as captain. He played an incredible 32 (of 41) matches as Australia failed to win any of the five internationals. In 1958, Davidson led the Wallabies in the opening Test against the Maori only to suffer his own ‘Tooth moment’ when he was sensationally dropped for the second match and then excluded for the subsequent tour to New Zealand.
Bob Davidson played 13 Tests for Australia in a seven-year, four-season international career.
Davidson won his first Test cap at prop alongside Nev Cottrell and ‘Lou’ Hatherell for the 1st Test, 15-9 win over Fiji in Sydney. He retained his place two weeks later for the second Test, 15-17 loss at the S.C.G. Davison was capped in the front-row for both away internationals on the tour of New Zealand.
Davidson, Jim Walsh and Nick Shehadie combined in the front-row for the 1st Test, 3-25 loss to South Africa at Ellis Park.
After almost four years out of Test football Davidson returned to partner Jim Brown and Max Elliott for the 1st Test, 11-25 loss to New Zealand in Sydney. Shehadie came back into the side to join Brown and Davidson for the 2nd Test, 9-22 loss in Brisbane.
Davidson started in each of the five Tests of the tour to the U.K. and Europe. He became the 42nd Wallaby to captain Australia in the 3-9 defeat to Wales at Cardiff Arms Park.
In his final rugby international Davidson partnered Ron Meadows and Geoff Vaughan in the front-row for the 1st Test, 15-14 victory over the Maori in Brisbane.