Australian Rugby Union is mourning the loss of another of the game’s greats following the passing of dual international and media commentator, Rex Mossop, last Saturday morning.
Mossop and his former Wallaby team mate David Brockhoff OAM both passed away within a day of each other. The pair were members of the famous 1949 Wallabies side that defeated the All Blacks in a series on home soil for the first time in history to claim the Bledisloe Cup.
Mossop, as a boy growing up in Manly, began playing Rugby in the local Junior Union for St Matthews’ Church teams, and later as a forward at Manly High School. He stood out in size, strength and ability, and at age 16 was drafted into Manly’s senior side by coach Ron Walden, where he played 117 first-grade matches for his Club.
At the age of 18 he began his representative career after being selected in a Sydney Metropolitan XV in 1946 ,but the presence of older, more experienced forwards in New South Wales delayed his selection in the State team until 1949 against Queensland. From then until 1951 he played 17 matches as a Waratah, including games against Great Britain in 1950 and New Zealand in 1951.
The 369th player to earn a Wallaby cap Mossop, a tough uncompromising lock was part of the famous 1949 side, which won both Tests against the All Blacks in New Zealand – Wellington and Auckland – to bring home the Bledisloe Cup, a rare achievement. The side was made up of some the games legends including; Trevor Allan, Nick Shehadie, Cyril Burke and David Brockhoff.
Mossop’s Wallaby career concluded as in 1951 following the Test against New Zealand in Sydney where he earned his 5th Wallaby cap. In total Mossop represented his country on 11 occasions, 5 Test and 6 non-Test caps as well as 17 caps for NSW.
Following his 1951 retirement from Rugby Union Mossop moved to Great Britain where he took up a position with English Rugby League Club Leigh in Lancashire. He returned home in 1956 and joined the Manly Sea Eagles before earning a call up to the Kangaroos in 1959.
Following an impressive sporting career Mossop retired in 1963 to pursue a career in the media, which he did with aplomb becoming one of the countries most respected and colourful Rugby League commentators of the 60s, 70s and 80s.
In 2000 Mossop was awarded an Australian Sports Medal in recognition of his services to sport.