San Diego, CA (March 8, 2006) –A jersey worn by one of Australia’s all-time great forwards, Tim Gavin, in a test match against the United States is the latest jersey to be auctioned off by the United States Rugby Foundation to support its youth and high school grant programs.
Gavin, who held the Australian record for most caps by a #8 for many years with 44, was one of Australia’s most dominating players during the late 1980s through the mid 1990s. He had a stellar Wallaby career earning a total of 47 caps (three at lock) and played on some of the great Wallaby teams, including the 1991 Wallabies that went on to win the 1991 Rugby World Cup. Arguably the best Wallaby forward prior to that World Cup, injury on the eve of the competition forced him to withdraw from the side.
Tim made his international debut as a 24 year old in a 19-19 draw with New Zealand on July 16, 1988. Things got worse in his second test two weeks later, a 30-9 All Blacks win. But it was mostly success after that as he finished his brilliant career with an impressive 31-15-1 record. He scored nine test tries during his nine years on the international stage, including two against Wales at Ballymore in 1991.
A picture of the jersey, along with a brief account of the test match between the United States and Australia from July 8, 1990 and more information about Tim can be found on eBay, item #8777076217. The bidding will conclude at 12:00 pm (PST) on Saturday, March 18, 2006.
“Tim was one of many great Wallaby players in that line-up,” said USRF Executive Director Brian Vizard, who is donating 10 jerseys he’s collected throughout his international career with the U.S. to be used as auction items. “What set him apart was that he was not only a tremendous rugby player but a genuinely nice guy. We met a couple of nights before the test and he was very friendly and hospitable.”
“Playing rugby for nine years with the Wallabies has left me with many great memories and a few scars as well,” said Gavin. “Touring with the Wallabies to me was what rugby was all about. We were always shown the most wonderful hospitality even though our hosts wanted to see us get smashed on the weekend. Even our great rivals New Zealand used to treat us well! It is a great gesture that Brian is making in donating some of his collection of International rugby jerseys to raise funds for the development of junior rugby. I wish him and the US Rugby Foundation well.”
The Gavin jersey is the latest jersey to be auctioned by the USRF. A Dean Richards England #8 jersey was the first to be posted on eBay. That was followed by a rare green Welsh jersey worn by #8 Paul Moriarty. Eric Champ’s #6 French jersey was next on the auction block. Noel Mannion’s Ireland #8 jersey was next up. Last month’s jersey on auction was worn by former Canadian great Glenn Ennis. All proceeds from the auctions benefit the USRF Ball and High School Start-Up Kit Grant Programs.
The USRF is a non-profit 501 (c) 3 organization established in 1963. Although its main focus is supporting youth and high school rugby, the Foundation also provides grants to coaches and referees; establishes international student exchanges and college scholarships, has assisted the United States Collegiate All-Americans and Boys Under-19 teams, and also provides grants to Safety and Risk Management Research.
For more information about the Foundation, go to its website at: www.usrugbyfoundation.org.