Roy Thomas George Lindsay
- 281Wallaby Number
Roy Lindsay was a tall, well-built winger or fullback, who made his name while playing rugby league for the famous ‘Galloping Clydesdales’ in the mid-1920s. That era was a ‘golden age of Queensland rugby league’ when no rugby union was being played in the state after the QRU had disbanded for the duration of World War I and was not revived for 15 years. In 1925, the unbeaten Toowoomba side contained most of Australia’s best rugby league. When Lou Meibusch (Wallaby #119) broke his leg early in the season an opportunity presented itself for Lindsay.
Described as intelligent, heady, speedy and resourceful, Lindsay - on debut - turned in an outstanding display against Brisbane on a sodden Toowoomba Athletic Oval and was hailed as a future international player. Toowoomba then beat the touring New Zealand team 16-14. The Toowoomba coach at that time was the New Zealand-born W.J. ‘King’ Renwick who had played fly half for Toowoomba against Bedell-Sivright’s British side in 1904. When the QRU was reconstituted in 1929, Renwick switched back to union. In the intervening four years Lindsay had not added to his sole state representation in league and Renwick soon encouraged him to make the switch to union.
Lindsay joined the Toowoomba Valleys club, which at the time had the services of the brilliant Wallaby utility back, Jack Steggall. In 1931 Lindsay made his state debut when Queensland swamped New South Wales 28-8. He impressed with a try and two conversions and suddenly found himself on the shortlist to win a spot on that year’s Wallaby tour New Zealand. Disaster struck in the third match of the interstate series when Lindsay was injured. Nonetheless the Australian selectors named him in the squad only to then receive a message from Sydney Hospital which announced that an X-ray of Lindsay’s leg revealed a fracture at the top of the tibia. Rehabilitated, Lindsay returned the following year and scored a try in Queensland’s 8-28 loss to New Zealand.
After the All Blacks bounced back from defeat in the opening Test to completely outplay the Wallabies two weeks later, the Australian selectors made wholesale changes in the backline. Captain Tom Lawton was axed along with Sid King. Gordon Sturtridge moved to fly half and the wingers, Steggall and Dave Cowper, shifted into the centres. Lindsay was named to debut on the right wing with University’s Bill Hemingway on the left. A month later, and for reasons that remain unexplained, Lindsay did not participate in the trials for the 1933 Wallaby tour to South Africa although a newspaper report suggests he announced his retirement from football after leading Valleys to the Toowoomba first grade premiership. Roy Lindsay played one Test for Australia and will forever be Wallaby #281.
Lindsay won his first Test cap on the right wing in the 3rd Test, 13-21 loss to New Zealand at the S.C.G.