IRB Hall of Fame
IRB Hall of Fame – Induction No.63 – John Edward Thornett MBE (Australia), 1935-
One of 11 legends inducted into the IRB Hall of Fame at the IRB World Rugby Conference and Exhibition in Dublin on 18 November 2013.
Born: 30 March 1935 in Grifith, New South Wales, Australia
Position: flanker, number 8 second row, prop
International career: 1955-1967
The oldest and most successful of three exceptionally gifted rugby-playing brothers, the others being Dick and Ken. He played international rugby in four different positions flank forward, number 8, second row and prop – though he began his first grade career at centre with Sydney University. He played his first representative game for New South Wales against Queensland in 1955, the year he made his international debut against New Zealand. He was appointed captain for the New Zealand tour in 1962 and led his country in 16 of his 37 Tests. Under his captaincy Australia became the first nation in 67 years to defeat South Africa in consecutive Tests during the 1963 drawn series. In 1965 he led Australia to a magnificent 2-0 win over the visiting Springboks and played against the Lions, both in 1959 and 1966. In 1964 he captained an international selection against South Africa at the 75th anniversary of the South African Rugby Board and was voted as one of the five best players in the world by the NZ Rugby Almanac. He was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 1985 and the Wallaby Hall of Fame in 2007. He was made an MBE for services to rugby in NSW.
A full profile will appear in due course.
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