J B Douglas

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25James Douglas was a tough Otago forward who with his Southern clubmate James Graham, who was also an All Black, became central figures in a major controversy in Dunedin rugby in 1915.

After a complaint from another team-mate, fellow All Black Alf Eckhold, who had walked from the field in apparent disgust, that players were not trying in a particular club match the Otago union held an inquiry which resulted in Douglas and Graham being expelled from the sport for allegedly accepting bribes. Illegal betting on sports events at that time 025was common.

For its part the Southern club strongly supported the two players and in 1922 Douglas, who had in fact appeared at the end of World War I for the New Zealand Army team, was readmitted to the game.

As a loose forward Douglas played 15 games for Otago between 1912 and 1915. After playing for the South Island in 1913 he was included in the All Black team for the tour of North America.

He occasionally suffered from injuries, was limited to just eight of the 16 matches and did not play in the official international against All America. But he had an eventful and effective tour, scoring seven tries including three against the University of Nevada at Reno and a double against St Mary’s College in Oakland.

And he was also involved in some trauma late in the tour when in the match against a British Columbia team in Victoria, Canada, a local player, Peter Ogden, collapsed and later died from his injury.

Douglas and the All Black captain, Alex McDonald, were subpoenaed to appear at the coroner’s inquest, but the death was found to have been accidental and the All Blacks were absolved of any responsibility.

Profile by Lindsay Knight
for the New Zealand Rugby Museum.

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FULL NAME
James Burt Douglas

BORN
Friday, 11 July 1890 in Shag Point

DIED
Monday, 21 December 1964 in Dunedin

POSITION
Loose Forward

LAST SCHOOL
Unknown

RUGBY CLUB
(First made All Blacks from)
Southern

PROVINCE
Otago

ALL BLACK DEBUT
Wednesday, 10 September 1913
v Wellington at Wellington
aged 23 years, 61 days

ALL BLACK TESTS
0 (0 as Captain)

ALL BLACK GAMES
9 (0 as Captain)

TOTAL ALL BLACK MATCHES
9 (0 as Captain)

ALL BLACK GAME POINTS
24pts (8t, 0c, 0p, 0dg, 0m)

TOTAL ALL BLACK POINTS
24pts (8t, 0c, 0p, 0dg, 0m)

ALL BLACK NUMBER
188

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The All Black Games that Douglas played.
(+) = substitute; (-) = replaced

Click on the date to be taken to the Match Card

1913

10 Sep vs Wellington at Wellington 19-18

11 Oct vs Barbarians Club at San Francisco 30-0

18 Oct vs Stanford University at Palo Alto 56-0

29 Oct vs University of Nevada at Reno 55-0

3 Nov vs University of California at Berkeley 33-0

5 Nov vs St Mary’s College at San Francisco 26-0

8 Nov vs University of Southern California at Los Angeles 40-0

22 Nov vs Victoria (B.C.) at Victoria 35-0

24 Nov vs Vancouver at Vancouver 44-0

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Points scored for the All Blacks

t
c
p
dg
pts

vs Wellington, 10 Sep 1913
1



3

vs Stanford University, 18 Oct 1913
1



3

vs University of Nevada, 29 Oct 1913
3



9

vs St Mary’s College, 5 Nov 1913
2



6

vs University of Southern California, 8 Nov 1913
1



3

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Totals
8
0
0
0
24

Douglas played in no test matches for the All Blacks.