||Mansfield, July 30 1906
||19 caps between 1926 and 1937
The following article has been adapted from the original by Dai Llewellyn, which focused on two players. It has been changed to highlight only the selected inductee’s information.
It was 59 years after Australia’s 1927-28 tour of Britain, Ireland and France, and sadly a year after his death, that Cyril Towers’ Test appearances for his country moved into double figures.
In 1986 Mr John Dedrick, then Australian Rugby Union Executive Director, confirmed that the Union had retrospectively granted international Test status to the tour, and the later matches against New Zealand were also upgraded. This took Towers from nine to 19 caps with a couple of strokes of a pen. But at least the ARU had seen eventually seen sense.
The reason for the elevation of the New South Wales Waratahs (as they were known when they toured) was that they were Australia’s sole representatives in rugby union at that time, following the withdrawal of Queensland from the ARU in the 1920s.
Towers, who died in 1985, was regarded as one of the finest centres Australia has ever produced, the pity of it was that he played so few times for Australia. He missed out on the 1933 tour to South Africa after a falling out with an administrator and made just four more appearances between 1934 and 1937.
He is described in one history of Australian rugby as “… a player without weakness, with a rare blend of fierce aggression and bravado”. Apparently, though, there was a minor flaw in this Antipodean gem. “His sole frailty was that he could only step off his left foot and could not cut back off the right.”
No matter. He clearly did enough to warrant his caps, posthumous or not, and the unstinting praise that preceded the acknowledgement of his ‘one frailty’.
And at least the crowd at Twickenham in 1928 – it was Australia’s first official appearance at HQ and only their second Test against England – was able to witness Towers as he marked the occasion with his first try for his country.
Article by Dai Llewellyn