Vale Arthur Summons
Wallaby no. 431
The Australian Rugby community is mourning the loss of 10-Test Wallaby and dual-code international, Arthur Summons who passed away on Saturday night, aged 84.
Summons played league and union growing up, starring in rugby at Homebush Boys’ High and playing for Sydney club Gordon as a talanted flyhalf between 1954 and 1959.
He played his first representative match for NSW against Queensland in 1956 and also faced off against the touring Springboks that same year.
In 1957, Summons featured in Australia’s tour of Britain and France, making his Test debut against Wales at just 22 years and 22 days, going on to play four of the five Tests on that tour and striking immediate rapport with Des Connor. He crossed for what would be his only Test try in the loss to Ireland at Landsdowne Road.
Summons was the starting flyhalf for the Wallabies in the 1958 season and he added four more Tests to his name that year including his only Test victory, a 6-3 win at Lancaster Park in Christchurch.
He played his final two Tests in 1959 against the British Lions concluding his international career with 10 Caps before making the switch to rugby league with the Western Suburbs Magpies.
He led the Magpies to three consecutive Grand Finals with all ending in defeat to the dominant St George Dragons.
Summons became the 28th dual international when he played for the Kangaroos for the first time in 1961 and he ultimately played nine rugby league Tests. He later went on to Coach the Australian side and was voted as one of the Top 100 Rugby League players in the first century of the game.
Summons is immortalised in the iconic “Gladiators” photo alongside rival captain Norm Provan that is depicted in the NRL Ppremiership trophy.
The Paddington-born half passed away peacefully at his home in Wagga Wagga after an extended battle with cancer.