Saxon William White
- 416Wallaby Number
Saxon White was a stylish centre who was one of the first choice midfielders in the mid-to-late 1950s however his career was blighted by injury. White had great handling skills and was a beautifully balanced runner with the ball in hand. He had the rare ability to beat his opposing number both on the inside and on the outside. He was also a very unselfish player who set up his outside backs with many scoring opportunities.
Born in Sydney, White briefly attended both Sydney Boys’ High School and Parramatta High School before he went on to complete the majority of his secondary schooling at The Kings School. At Kings he played two seasons in both the 1st XI and the 1st XV. White also represented Combined GPS in each sport.
In 1953 White enrolled on a Commonwealth Scholarship into Medicine at the University of Sydney and played first grade rugby that same year. After just a handful of grade games, White made his representative debut for New South Wales against Queensland in the third interstate match. To cap off a meteoric rise in senior rugby, White was then chosen on his first Wallaby tour, to South Africa.
He played in nine of the 27 matches, but none of the three Tests, and returned home a far better player for the experience. In 1955, White’s season was interrupted by a double hernia operation however he recovered well and played some outstanding rugby to earn a Test debut against South Africa in Sydney.
In 1957 White damaged the cruciate ligament in his right knee in the second NSW-Queensland fixture and missed the two Test home series against New Zealand but recovered to win selection on the Fourth Wallabies tour of the British Isles, France and North America.
In 1958, White, much like many of his Fourth Wallabies teammates, withdrew from the tour to New Zealand and soon thereafter retired from all representative rugby to concentrate on medicine. In later years White coached The University of New South Wales, St Bartholomew's Hospital and Flinders' University (S.A.).
In 2005 he was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for ‘service to medicine and to medial education’. Saxon White played seven Tests for Australia in a three-year international career.
White won his first Test cap at outside centre in combination with Jim Phipps in the 1st Test, 0-9 loss to South Africa at the S.C.G. That same centre pairing were retained for the 2nd Test, 0-9 defeat in Brisbane.
White played in three Tests on the Fourth Wallabies tour, against Ireland, England and Scotland. In that Scotland match White was kicked in the face as he fell on a rolling ball at the feet of the Scottish forwards. He suffered concussion and severe facial bruising, and did not play again on tour.
He missed the opening home Test against the Maori after he injured his medial ligament in the interstate match against Queensland but returned to start at inside centre for the two final Tests of that series.