Johnnie Wallace

Johnnie Wallace

Infobox Rugby biography
name = Johnnie Wallace


caption =
birthname = Arthur Cooper Wallace
nickname = Johnnie
dateofbirth = 5 September 1900
placeofbirth = Macksville, New South Wales
dateofdeath = 1975
placeofdeath = The Entrance, New South Wales
height =
weight =
ru_position = Wing/Centre
ru_clubyears = 1920-1921
1926-1930
ru_clubupdate =
ru_proclubs = Sydney University
Glebe-Balmain RUFC
ru_clubcaps =
ru_clubpoints =
ru_currentclub = "retired"
super14 =
super14years =
super14caps =
super14points =
super14currentclub = "retired"
super14update =
ru_province = New South Wales
ru_provinceyears = 1921-1928
ru_provincecaps = 30
ru_provincepoints =
ru_provinceupdate =
ru_nationalyears = 1923-1926
1921-1928
ru_nationalteam = flagicon|Scotland Scotland
flagicon|Australia Australia
ru_nationalcaps = 9 Tests
8 Tests
ru_nationalpoints = (33)
(15)
ru_ntupdate =
other =
spouse =
children =
relatives =
school = Sydney Grammar School
university = University of Sydney
Oxford University
Arthur Cooper "Johnnie" Wallace was an Australian rugby union player , a state and national representative three-quarter who captained the Wallabies' on 25 occasions in the 1920s as well as representing for Scotland early in his career.

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University & early rep career

Wallace arrived at Sydney University in 1920 to study law and at the Sydney University rugby club he came under the influence of Hyam Marks, who had been senior to Wallace at Sydney Grammar and who was the club's first Wallaby representative. His potential was obvious and in 1921 he was selected in the New South Wales side picked to tour New Zealand. He played in five of the ten tour matches including the September 1921 fixture against a New Zealand XV which is now regarded as a Test match.

With no Queensland Rugby Union administration or competition in place from 1919 to 1929, the New South Wales Waratahs were the top Australian representative rugby union side of the period and a number of the fixtures of 1920s which were played against full international opposition were decreed by the Australian Rugby Union in 1986 as official Test matches.

In 1922 Wallace won a Rhodes scholarship to Oxford where he won University "blues" in 1922, 1923, 1924 and 1925.

cotland representative

Whilst at Oxford, represented for Scotland in nine Tests between 1923 and 1926. He made his Scots national debut in a Five Nations fixture in January 1923 against France. He played against all of the Home Nations whilst representing for Scotland. making his last appearance in January 1926 at Stade Colombes also against France.

As a player he was at home anywhere in the three-quarters. He had a good turn of speed with a great oustide break and was a magnificent finisher.

Australian representative

On his return to Australia in 1926 he joined the Glebe/Balmain RUFC and in July of that year was selected for two Waratahs matches against the All Blacks.

Prior to the start of the Australian 1927 season an invitation from the International Rugby Board arrived in Sydney requesting a New South Wales side tour Great Britain to play Tests against the Home Nations. A squad of twenty-nine players was selected comprising twenty-eight New South Welshmen and one Queenslander in Tom Lawton, Snr who had come to Sydney to continue his career. Wallace was selected as captain for nine month 1927-28 Waratahs tour of Britain, France and Canada.

The selection of Wallace as captain is referred to in the Howell reference as "a masterstoke". [Howell "Wallaby Test Captains" p92] He was well-known in Britain through his Oxford and Scotland association, was an experienced and naturally gifted player, a strong tactician and a great influence on the younger players. On the nine month tour, the Australians won 24, lost 5 and drew 2 of the matches they played and returned having established an international reputation for playing fair and attacking rugby.

Howell quotes a speech given by Wallace at the tour's conclusion "Every man went into the game wholeheartedly and did his utmost. Australia should be especially proud of the team considering that the Waratahs were picked from nine clubs, while England has 40,000 players to draw from". [Howell "Wallaby Test Captains" p93]

Post-playing

After 1928 Wallace opted out of representative rugby but played at club level till 1930 and acted as a selector and coach for New South Wales and Australia for a number of years. He toured as assistant manager-coach with a number of Wallaby sides and coached a Waratah team to a surprise victory over the Springboks at the Sydney Cricket Ground in 1937.

After the death of his father he returned home to Macksville to attend to family business affairs. Later he returned to Sydney and worked as a non-practising barrister with the Crown Solicitors office. He died at The Entrance, New South Wales in 1975.

References

ources

* Collection (1995) "Gordon Bray presents The Spirit of Rugby", Harper Collins Publishers Sydney
* Howell, Max (2005) "Born to Lead - Wallaby Test Captains", Celebrity Books, Auckland NZ

Footnotes


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