John Thornett

John Thornett was adamant in his upholding of sportsmanship in the game of Rugby Union. Words of negativity, criticism and bitterness were not uttered when the looming figure of John Thornett was around.  He believed that rugby union was a means of building character and supported the fundamental ideals of the game wherever he could.

 
A product of Sydney Boys High School, John played for Sydney University and Northern Suburbs. In 1955 he made his debut for both New South Wales and Australia, playing a total of 21 representative games for New South Wales and 37 Tests for Australia, 16 as captain. 
 
John had three positional changes in his Test career - first as flanker, then to the second row, where he was joined by his brother Richard, and finally to the front row where he won plaudits as one of the world's best prop forwards.
 
He toured with Australian Universities to New Zealand in 1954 and to Japan in 1956, to New Zealand with Australian Teams in 1955, 1958, 1962, 1964, to South Africa in 1961 and 1963, and to the UK, France in 1957/58, and 1966/67.
 
In 1964 he captained Danny Craven's team of Internationals at the South African Rugby Union's 75th Anniversary and in the same year was one of the New Zealand Rugby Almanac's five International "Players of the Year". 
 
He captained Australia from 1962 to his retirement in 1967, leading Australia to some historic wins and on some memorable tours including the 1963 tour to South Africa.