Towards the end of 90 days in Africa the veterans among the 1963 Wallabies described their experiences as the 'tour of tours'. In those distant, amateur times a long tour was the ultimate rugby reward. After arriving as rank outsiders, they had won two of four Tests against the mighty Springboks, including history's only Wallaby win in Johannesburg. They inflicted the first successive home Test losses on the de facto world champions since 1896.
Although the young Wallabies were hailed as 'immortals', Rob Heming feared they were running out of time by 2017. The team elder asked Mike Jenkinson (Easts player 1958-62 and 1972-73) to 'get our story down before it's too late'. Teammates Dick Marks and Keith Walsham agreed to contribute. So did their '63 opponent Tom Bedford who had political as well as rugby stories to spin. Surviving Wallabies contributed interviews and funding for a self-publishing exercise. A Dangerous Breed emerged as a view from both sides of an unforgettable, amateur sporting adventure in a strange society and a different time. Rugby historian Ian Deihm believes it should be compulsory reading for all new Wallabies.
The '63 team included future Easts players Peter Crittle, Jim Boyce and John Wolfe, as well as Mike (aka Mick). Easts' top colts team in 2018 is captained by Tom Lenehan from the same southern NSW family as the famous fullback, Jim Lenehan. Jim was in the selected squad in '63, but was injured in a Perth game against Western Australia and didn't make it to Africa.
Copies of A Dangerous Breed are now available ($40 including packaging and postage) and can be ordered on Mike's email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Supply him with a postal address and send your money to:
Account name: Michael Augustine Jenkinson
Account number: 30078101
$10 from each book sold through this promotion will be donated to Easts.