A Kiwis rep from Addington and Rakaia clubs, Ces Davison starred on the wing in New Zealand’s 1937 Test series against Australia before embarking on the ill-fated tour of Britain and France two years later.
The Ashburton County rugby union rep was a genuine flyer, winning a national professional sprint title in the late-1920s. He switched codes with Addington in 1935 and made his first appearances for Canterbury and South Island the following season.
Davison was chosen on the flank in New Zealand’s line-up for the 1937 series opener against Australia at Carlaw Park, scoring a try and kicking a goal on debut in a 12-8 loss. In the second Test, also in Auckland, the 28-year-old scored two of the Kiwis’ four tries in a momentous 16-15 win.
Injury ruled him out of contention for the 1938 tour of Australia but, after playing an integral role in the formation of the Rakaia club, he was one of three players from the fledgling outfit named in the Kiwis’ 1939 squad to venture to Britain and France. The outbreak of World War II curtailed the tour after just two games, however, and Davison was one of only five players who did not take the field before the remainder of the trip was cancelled.
Davison still had plenty to offer despite his advancing years. At the age of 37, he scored two tries in South Island’s second win over North Island, represented South Island against Great Britain and helped Rakaia to its only championship in a memorable 1946 season.
In 1962, Davison had the distinction of being the chief timekeeper at Lancaster Park when the great Peter Snell set world records in the 800 metres and 880 yards.
NEW ZEALAND (1937, 1939)
2 Tests – 3 tries, 1 goal (11 points)
-1939 Kiwis tour of Britain and France