Frank Nicholson (rugby union)

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Frank Villenueve Nicholson (15 October 1878 – c. 1970) was an Australian Boer War veteran and rugby union player, a state and national representative who made two Test appearances in 1903-1904, captaining the side on one occasion.

Frank Nicholson
Frank Nicholson.JPG
Birth nameFrank Villenueve Nicholson[1]
Date of birth(1878-10-15)15 October 1878[2]
Place of birthVilleneuve, Queensland[2]
Date of deathcirca 1970[1]
SchoolBrisbane Grammar School
Rugby union career
Position(s) prop[1]
Amateur team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
Toombul, Qld. ()
Provincial / State sides
Years Team Apps (Points)
1900-04 Queensland 13 ()
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
1903–04[1] Australia 2[1] (0)[1]

Early lifeEdit

Nicholson, was born in Villeneuve, Queensland, a place renamed from Humberstone[3] by his father (also named Frank) who started the first sawmill in the area in 1877, founding the small town.[4]


Nicholson, a prop, played thirteen times for Queensland between 1900 and 1904 with twelve of these matches played against New South Wales. The Howell reference claims that Nicholson's rugby career was interrupted by enlistment in the Boer War.[5] He claimed two international rugby caps for Australia. He appeared for Queensland against the touring New Zealanders in Brisbane in August 1903 and two weeks later made his international debut against the same tourists in Sydney, on 15 August 1903.

In 1904 he captained Queensland in the inter-state series and played alongside his brother Fred who scored a try in that match. Later that season he had the honour of captaining Australia in a Test match against a touring British Lions side. Australia lost the match 17-0. Nicholson was selected in a 1905 squad that toured New Zealand but he did not play in any matches of the tour.[6]

He left Australia in 1905 going to Philadelphia to study dentistry [6] Upon his return in 1911 be became a selector and coach of the Queensland state side.

Preceded by
Stan Wickham
Australian national rugby union captain
Succeeded by
Peter Burge


  • Howell, Max (2005) Born to Lead - Wallaby Test Captains, Celebrity Books, Auckland NZ


  1. ^ a b c d e f " player profile of Frank Nicholson". Retrieved 12 July 2010.
  2. ^ a b "Family Notices: Births". The Brisbane Courier. 19 October 1878. p. 4. Retrieved 5 August 2010.
  3. ^ Cilento, Raphael; Lack, Clem, eds. (1959). "First Forays Towards the Tropics" (PDF). Triumph in the tropics : an historical sketch of Queensland. Brisbane, Qld.: Smith & Paterson. p. 115.
  4. ^ Kerr, John (January 1998). "Geographical Overview of Sawmilling" (PDF). p. 88. Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 March 2011. Retrieved 5 August 2010.
  5. ^ Howell p24
  6. ^ a b Howell p 25