28 March 1962
APPOINTMENT OF DAVE BROWN AS RUGBY LEAGUE ‘SOUTH AFRICA COACH’
On this day, 58 years ago, the Cape Town newspaper, the Cape Argus announced that Australian rugby legend and later Hall of Famer, David (‘Dave’) Brown was appointed as the “Coach of [Rugby League] South Africa”. This was not the case since his original mandate was the promotion of the code in South Africa. Brown represented Eastern Suburbs (‘Easts’), New South Wales, the Australian Kangaroos and Warrington in the British league during his active playing career. On his retirement in 1941, the Sydney Morning Herald referred to him as “one of the greatest centre three-quarters the rugby league code has known”. Others also referred to him as the “Bradman of League”.
Employed by the New South Wales Rugby League as a schools liaison officer, he was seconded to South Africa to assist with building and consolidating the emerging code. Based on the successes he achieved in preparing players for the actual launch of the formal rugby league competition of Rugby League South Africa, he was asked to coach the first national team. Under his coaching regime the Rugby League Springboks, scored their first international win (4-3) against New Zealand at a muddy Carlaw Park in Auckland before a crowd of 9000 spectators during their tour Down Under in 1963.
By Hendriks Snyders