THE Queensland Rugby League is mourning the death of Brian Davies, one of the state’s greatest forwards.
Davies passed away this morning, aged 82. The former Brisbane Brothers and Canterbury forward played 38 matches for Queensland and captained Australia in a distinguished career that saw him named in the Queensland Team of the Century in 2008.
Great Britain’s legendary five-eighth David Bolton, who tangled with him in the 1958 series, described Davies as the fittest and most determined man he ever played against.
That ’58 series, although a losing one for Australia, was a crowning achievement of Davies’ career, as he had the honour of leading Australia in all three Tests against Alan Prescott’s tourists.
His first taste of international football had come long before — back in the history-making series of 1950 when he was a reserve in the Australian squad but didn’t get to put a foot onto the field of battle. In 1951, as a second-rower, he made his debut, playing in all three Tests against the French.
Graduating to prop, Davies made two Kangaroo tours and played in the first two World Cups.
On the arrival home of the 1952–53 Kangaroos, team manager Latchem Robinson identified the greatness of Davies, naming him man of the tour.
“Davies developed into a colossal forward overseas and must now rank with the all-time great second-rowers,” Robinson said at the time.
Four years later, Britain’s Official Rugby League Yearbook nominated Davies as the most constructive of the Australian forwards.
In 1958, his last international campaign, captain Davies was the only resident Queenslander in the Australian team which fell 2–1 to Great Britain.
Club landmarks: Won Brisbane premierships with Brothers 1956, 1958
Games for Qld: 38 (1950–58); Tests for Australia: 27 (1951–58) — three as captain; World Cup matches: Six (1954–57)
Representative landmarks: Kangaroo tours 1952–53, 1956–57; Australian tour of New Zealand 1953; World Cups 1954, 1957