Vale Wallaby 433, Geoff Vaughan

by Rugby Australia

Rugby Australia, the NSW Rugby Union and the Victorian Rugby Union are mourning the loss of former Wallabies prop Dr Geoffrey Vaughan who passed away peacefully on January 4, aged 84.

A hard-nosed loosehead prop, Vaughan was known for his fierce tackling and outstanding set-piece skill, playing six Tests for the Wallabies in 1958.

Born in Sydney and schooled at Homebush Boys' High School, Dr Vaughan played club Rugby for Western Suburbs and Drummoyne through the early 1950's before transferring to Melbourne in 1956 to complete a Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Microbiology at Melbourne University.

No sooner did he arrive in Melbourne he linked with the Powerhouse Rugby Club and captained the first grade side to an unbeaten premiership in the 1956 VRU competition.

After representing his state and joining the Melbourne University Rugby Club in 1957, Dr Vaughan caught the eye of the national team and was selected for the 1957/58 Wallabies tour of the UK, France, Ireland, USA and Canada.

He made his Test debut against England at Twickenham, becoming the 433rd player to represent the Wallabies, before adding two more Test caps on the tour against Scotland and France.

On returning to Australia, Dr Vaughan was named vice-captain for the three home Wallabies Tests against the New Zealand Maori in 1958.

While he was passionate about his Rugby, Dr Vaughan was also keen on pursuing a career in science and informed Australian selectors that he would not be available for the 1958 tour of New Zealand.

Dr Vaughan continued his support of Melbourne University Rugby and later was elected to the VRU Board and served as rugby coordinator for the Australian University Games and World Seniors' Games.

He was revered for his work in the sciences, earning Queen's Birthday honours with an Order of Australia (AO) award in 2006.

In 31 years as an academic, he was Dean and Director of the Victorian College of Pharmacy, the Director of the Chisholm Institute of Technology, and Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Monash University.