Old Collegians Rugby Union Club



Arthur McGill

Arthur McGill joined the club in March 1977 four years after his retirement from test football. He played fullback in the 3rds and 4ths until he returned to Sydney.

  Caps Points Tries Penalties Conversions Drop Goals
Arthur McGill vs South Africa 7 14 0 3 1 1
Arthur McGill vs France 5 10 0 2 2 0
Arthur McGill vs New Zealand 5 23 0 7 1 0
Arthur McGill vs Tonga 2 7 0 1 2 0
Arthur McGill vs Scotland 1 5 0 1 1 0
Arthur McGill vs Wales 1 13 1 2 2 0
Total 21 72 1 16 9 1

They called him 'the kid': a class Wallaby as solid as Brass/headl


A few words from Arthur McGill (from Phil Smith's obituary):

Phil Smith, the exciting Wallaby outside centre who formed a memorable midfield combination with John Brass, died after a short illness on Saturday. He was 53.

Arthur McGill, the Wallaby fullback and former Test teammate, said it was a delight to be a comrade of Smith's on and off the field.

"At times, we called him the 'angry young man' and 'the kid', but what an awesome footballer," McGill said yesterday. "To play behind John Brass and Phil Smith was a luxury. While John had marvellous hands, Phil was as robust and as tough as they come.

"I vividly remember one Test against France, when the Frogs were getting into Brassy, and Phil flew in from about 25 metres and went through them like a packet of salts.

"Phil was successful in business and just a terrific person. He also showed great judgment by going to South Sydney when he'd had enough of rugby union."

... Greg Growden


Arthur McGill, Fullback, Wallaby #514

Source: rugby.com

Australia's leading fullback from 1968 to 1973, Arthur McGill was a balanced fullback who could kick with either foot and defend strongly. He was also capable of producing brilliant attacking football but played in an era when the Wallabies were greatly weakened by early retirements and defections to rugby league.

Born on 5 December 1944 at Sydney, young Arthur attended Drummoyne High School where he learned rugby and naturally gravitated to the Drummoyne rugby first grade team in 1964. In this year, Drummoyne won the minor premiership and McGill scored 116 points and won the WS Chapman trophy for the most consistent goal kicker and was acclaimed as an outstanding prospect.

In the following season, McGill figured in the Wallaby trials for the coming Springbok tour but was injured and laid up for some time. In 1966, McGill played in the annual Sydney v Country match at North Sydney Oval and kicked a penalty goal in City I's 9-6 win but the ACT's Peter Ryan was preferred for the matches against the Lions.

McGill had his first taste of international rugby when playing for Sydney against Ireland in 1967. He kicked three conversions and a penalty goal in Sydney's 30- 8 victory. When the All Blacks arrived in 1968, McGill met them three times before the first Test match at the SCG when playing for Sydney, the Junior Wallabies and New South Wales. The Test match was not easy for McGill. He missed his first two attempts at penalty goal before the All Blacks opened their score and another one before halftime. In the end, he kicked two penalty goals and converted Alan Cardy's try but the Wallabies lost 27-11 with Catchpole and Brass as casualties.

Putting his first Test woes behind him, McGill was outstanding in the second Test when the gallant Wallabies put in a magnificent effort only to be beaten by a dubious penalty try at the death. This time, McGill found his kicking boots and landed five penalty goals and, with a try by John Hipwell, the Wallabies led 18-14 at the 78th minute. Then came the penalty try. In kicking five penalty goals, McGill set a new points scoring record for a Wallaby.

After this good display, McGill backed up against France in the one-off Test. McGill converted Phil Smith's try and kicked a penalty goal but France led the Wallabies 10-8 when John Ballesty kicked a stupendous dropped goal on the run to give the Wallabies their only win in two years. At the end of the season, an excited McGill looked forward to his first Wallaby tour - a short tour to Ireland and Scotland ,only to injure a knee at Perth that caused him to miss the internationals and leave Australia without a goal kicker.

However, McGill was the number one fullback chosen for the Wallaby tour of South Africa in 1969. Before the Wallabies flew out to the Republic, they had to meet Wales in a one-off Test after the Welsh returned from a miserable and disastrous tour of New Zealand. In this match, McGill played brilliantly. In the first half, he converted Phil Smith's try and kicked two penalty goals to put Australia ahead 11-0 at halftime. In the second half, he scored a brilliant try when he kicked ahead and regathered to score in Maurice Richards' tackle. He converted the try and then Alan Skinner was entrusted with a penalty kick from halfway following dissent by Richards but the kick missed to leave Wallaby coach, Des Connor, lamenting how the Wallabies could blow a lead of 11-0 and lose 19-16.

On tour in South Africa, McGill kicked poorly in the opening couple of games and was hampered by a hip injury suffered against Griqualand West and missed the clash with Natal. He returned for the clash with a South African Country XV but surrendered the goal kicking to John Ballesty, who won the game for the Wallabies with a conversion from the sideline. It was not until the Wallabies played Eastern Province at the Boet Erasmus Stadium that McGill resumed goal kicking.

With Rupert Rosenblum, a natural tactical kicker, introduced to the side for the important matches, McGill gave the goal kicking away to the Sydney University five-eighth. McGill played in all four Test matches and 16 tour games in all, scoring just 32 points with two tries, 7 conversions and 4 penalty goals. His best efforts came late in the tour and, in the third Test at Newlands - the 'Umbrella Test' - where the rain poured down throughout, McGill gave a wonderful defensive display. Dirkie de Vos, the Springbok scrumhalf, lofted a series of tactical kicks in the swirling wind and rain that McGill defused and once he came into the backline, looking decidedly dangerous.

By now, McGill was an automatic choice as the Australian fullback against Scotland in 1970 but landed only two goals from eight attempts as the Wallabies ran in six tries to win 23-3. When the Springboks arrived for the 'Demo Tour' in 1971, McGill was in sparkling form in the first Test. After Frik du Preez had careered away to set up a converted try for Hannes Viljoen that put the South Africa ahead 8-3, McGill fielded a loose Springbok kick, hoisted the ball high and followed through to leap high over everyone and punch the ball across to the fast following Bob McLean, who scored. McGill converted and completed a 100 per cent record with his goal kicking but Australia lost 19-11.

In the next two Tests, McGill was less influential. He missed a couple of early penalty attempts in the second Test at the Brisbane Exhibition Ground but did keep the Wallabies in the game with a glorious dropped goal, but the lethargic Wallabies lost 14-6. In the final Test, Jeff McLean took over the kicking and landed a long range penalty goal but the Springboks won easily.

On the tour of France, McGill played exceedingly well and surpassed Tommy Lawton's points scoring record when he converted one of David L'Estrange's two tries in the drawn first Test at Toulouse. McGill went on to play in the second Test when he shared the goal kicking with Jeff McLean. In 1972, McGill figured in both Tests against France and then toured New Zealand where he played in ten of the 13 games and scored 21 points. It was a difficult and disappointing tour but McGill played courageously even if his goal kicking was disappointing.

In 1973, McGill turned out against the popular Tongans in the two Tests and ended his Test career in the Ballymore debacle where Tonga won 16-11.

In all, Arthur McGill played in 51 matches for Australia between 1968 and 1973, including 21 Test matches in which he scored an Australian record score of 72 points. He was also a great club stalwart who played 120 games for Drummoyne and toured Britain in 1974 with the club.

After finishing his playing days, McGill became the New South Wales Director of Coaching, a counterpart to Dick Marks in Queensland.