Vale John Taylor, Wallaby 539

by Rugby Australia

The Australian Rugby community is in mourning following the passing of four-Test Wallaby winger, John Taylor after a short battle with liver cancer.

Born in Wollongong, Taylor attended Hurlstone Agricultural High School before commencing his Rugby career at the University of Sydney, where he was also studying a degree in Veterinary Science.

Progressing through the ranks Taylor’s first representative accolade came in 1971, when Sydney played Victoria, scoring two tries the quick-footed winger quickly caught the attention of coaching staff and earnt himself his first New South Wales Jersey against Queensland in the same year.

Following a breakout year at the national level, Taylor made his international debut against South Africa on 17 July 1971 at the Sydney Cricket Ground. In recognition of this Taylor was awarded a University Blue for Football (Union).

Taylor’s next Test call up came exactly a year later during the French tour of Australia. Here he started on the wing in both matches scoring two tries in the opening fixture at the Sydney Cricket Ground. A week later Taylor was again selected to start against the French at Ballymore Stadium in Brisbane.

Following impressive performances against the French, Taylor was selected for his first Wallaby Tour to New Zealand and Fiji. While Taylor didn’t start in either match against New Zealand, he did take to the field against Fiji in Suva in what would be his final Test, going out on a high winning 21-19.

The following year Taylor graduated from the University of Sydney with a degree in Veterinary Science. From here he followed in the footsteps of his father Robert, a pioneer of veterinary practice in country New South Wales.

He will forever be Wallaby 539