2012 Inductees: Ian and Donald Campbell

(IRB.COM) Wednesday 23 May 2012
 2012 Inductees: Ian and Donald Campbell
Ian Campbell (R) and his nephew Colin enjoy the moment as Ian and his late brother Donald are inducted into the IRB Hall of Fame in Santiago

IRB Hall of Fame – Inductee No.50 – Ian (1928-) and Donald (1919-1944) Campbell (Chile)

Personal details

Ian Campbell

– Born: 28 May 1928 in Santiago, Chile
– School: St Peter's Villa Alemana near Valparaiso
– Club: Prince of Wales RFC in Santiago
– Position: Centre and fly half
– International debut: 5 September 1948

Donald Campbell

– Born: 9 July 1919 in Santiago, Chile
– Died: 12 September 1944, killed in action over Germany
– School: St Peter's Villa Alemana near Valparaiso
– Club: Prince of Wales RFC in Santiago
– Position: Centre 
– International debut: 21 August 1938

Rugby career

– Ian and Donald Campbell played for the Prince of Wales club in Santiago and both represented Chile, while their father Colin played soccer for Chile in the 1910 South American Championship
– Donald, a fast and powerfully built centre three-quarter, made his international debut at the age of 19 against Argentina in Buenos Aires in 1938, during Chile's first ever tour abroad
– This was a time Chilean players had very limited opportunities to measure their prowess against foreign opposition
– The 1938 tour, the last Test played by Chile before the Second World War, was the return visit to Argentina after they had toured Chile two years earlier
– Donald's promising international career was cut short by the war as he volunteered to join the Royal Air Force in 1941. He became a pilot with the Bomber Command and died in action on 12 September 1944 during a bombing raid over Germany. His son Colin was born in England in December 1944 after his death
– Ian Campbell, Donald's younger brother, started playing senior rugby at 17 as the Chilean clubs experienced a shortage of players due to the large numbers of the members of the Anglo-Chilean rugby community who had volunteered to join the war effort
– A one-club player, Ian played for the Prince of Wales club for nearly 30 years and captained them on numerous occasions
– He made his international debut at the age of 20 in the centre for Chile's first post war international, which was their first ever match with the neighbouring Uruguay in 1948, 10 years on from his brother Donald's international debut
– Ian Campbell became captain of Chile at the inaugural South American Championship in 1951 and retired 10 years later after 14 years of Test rugby
– During the 1950s he was acknowledged by both friends and foes as one of the most skilful players in South America and an outstanding leader of men
– Widely regarded as the father of Chilean rugby, he appeared in all 16 international matches that Chile played between 1948 and 1961 - a meagre average of about one Test a year which definitely hampered the progress of several talented generations of Chilean players
– Nevertheless he played with distinction against some of the leading players of the era, France's Roger Martine in 1954 and Arnaud Marquesuza in 1960, Ireland's Bill Hewit in 1952, England's Michael Smith in 1956 and John Gainsford, a Junior Springbok in 1959
– One of his grandsons, Santiago Fuenzalida, was a standout player for Chile Under 20s at the inaugural IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy in Santiago in 2008. However, he was tragically killed in a car accident in November of that year.

What he said 

Ian Campbell: "I couldn't be more pleased at the fact that Donald is to be included in this induction. He was more than eight years older than me and was definitely my sporting hero. So much so that as a young boy all I wanted was to be able some day to play rugby, cricket or hockey (at all of which he excelled) with him when I grew up. Not only that, but he was also an excellent left-footed place-kicker, which led me, as naturally a right-footer, to spend endless hours at boarding school practising punts, drop-kicks and place-kicks with either foot. So, thanks to my admiration for Donald, I was able to become a fully ambidextrous kicker - punting, drop-kicking and even place-kicking accurately with either foot - a truly significant advantage for a rugby back.

"Our family has been involved in quite a few firsts in sports in Chile. My father played centre-forward for Chile in the first ever South American Championship, as well as Donald who played in the first ever tour by a Chile rugby team to Argentina in 1938, and myself who played in the first ever South American rugby tournament in 1951."

 What they said

Hugo MacKern (leading Argentine rugby journalist and historian): "Campbell was without doubt the most influential player in the Chile team, at a time when they were much the second strongest team in South America and were closing the gap on Argentina.