Robert Alfred Lewars Davidson

  • 13Caps
  • 389Wallaby Number
PositionTighthead Prop
Date Of Birth17 October 1926
Place Of BirthNewcastle, NSW
SchoolNewcastle Technical High School
ProvinceNSW
Died28 January 1992
Debut Test Match1952 Wallabies v Fiji, 1st Test Sydney
Final Test Match1958 Wallabies v New Zealand Maori, 1st Test Brisbane

Biography

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).

In 1948 he joined Gordon and made his First grade debut but did not earn a regular place in the top team, by now in the front row, until the following season when the club won the 1949 premiership. In 1951, Davidson played in the North v. South State trials, was named as a reserve for New South Wales and represented City against Country. A year later he made his senior representative debut against Queensland, played in his first Test - against Fiji in Sydney - and then toured to New Zealand under the captaincy of John Solomon. In 1953, Davidson went to South Africa however Australia were humbled 3-25 in the opening Test and the selectors made five changes for Cape Town, one of which saw Davidson lose his place to Col Forbes. That was the start of a four-year, 10-match hiatus from Test football for Davidson until he was recalled for the home series against New Zealand ahead of the 1957/58 Fifth Wallabies tour.

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.

Highlights

1952

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.

1953

Davidson, Jim Walsh and Nick Shehadie combined in the front-row for the 1st Test, 3-25 loss to South Africa at Ellis Park.

1957

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.

1957/58

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.

1958

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.

Robert Alfred Lewars Davidson