The Iconic Rugby Career of John Hipwell: A Quintessential Halfback

A set small text size A set the default text size A set large text size Listing all the attributes of the late John Hipwell, fellow players and journalists described the quintessential rugby union halfback. A tenacious player, dynamic and brisk runner, providing potent defense, and acting as an extra loose forward cover defending. His stocky build and slick, long pass added to his repertoire. Bravery was evidenced by him playing on after having his front teeth knocked out in the match for New South Wales Country versus the British Lions in 1966. He eventually made his Australian debut versus New Zealand in 1968 after warming the bench for ten matches as an understudy to Ken Catchpole. John Hipwell was born in Mayfield NSW, near Newcastle, in 1948 and attended Wallsend High School. His first-grade career began as an 18-year-old playing for the Waratahs Club in 1966, under legendary Australian halfback Cyril Burke. In 1982 John Hipwell received the Order of Australia Medal and in 2006 entered the Australian Rugby Union Hall of Fame. He was also chosen by Gareth Edwards in his book, titled “100 Great Rugby Players.” He will be remembered as an archetypal halfback with an uncompromising, all-round game who endeared himself to rugby fans around the world.