Spotlight on Dan Carroll


Dan Carroll was born in Australia in 1887 and holds the honour of being the only rugby player to be a dual Olympic gold medalist for different qualifying nations.

Carroll was selected to play for Australia as part of their 1908/1909 rugby tour to Great Britain and France. At 20 years old, he was the youngest member of the tour squad but was still selected to play in the first test match against Wales in Cardiff – the first test match Australia would ever play on British soil. The tour coincided with the 1908 London Olympics and so Carroll had the opportunity to take part, earning his first gold medal.

In 1912 Carroll was again selected to play for the Australia team that would tour Canada and the USA. At the end of the tour, Carroll decided to remain in America and went on to play and coach rugby at Stanford University. He played his first rugby test match for the USA in 1913 and played for the USA side that beat France in the 1920 Belgium Olympic Games.

This secured him his 2nd Olympic gold medal and ensured his place in the history books.

Carroll played his last game of rugby in 1921 before embarking on a career with Standard Oil. He remained in America until his death in 1956.

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This entry was posted in Australia, Countries, International Players, Olympics. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Spotlight on Dan Carroll

  1. Lawrence Denis Freitas says:

    The 1913 USA side that played New Zealand, as well as the 1912 side that played Australia, were made up of players from the universities and colleges or clubs in the San Francisco Bay Area that existed at the time, where rugby was being played instead of American football.


  2. keithgregson says:

    There is a considerable amount of interesting material around ( in the medical history world as much as the sporting history world) about the crisis in ‘American football’ in the years prior to the First World War and the suggestion that the sport nearly gave way completely to rugby. This was on account of the number of deaths and injuries in college football in particular and involved discussion at the highest political level. I discovered this by accident when my wife was involved in a neurosurgical study involving Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore!


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