J G Irvine

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John Irvine, nicknamed “Sal”, was a typically hard nosed, uncompromsing tight forward from Dunedin’s celebrated Southern club. A lock in the old 2-3-2 scrum formation Irvine was a hefty man for the times, playing at 15st 7lbs or a little under 16st. His physique and strength made him a renowned scrummager.

Irvine’s first representative season with Otago was in 1912 when he had the distinction of being in a side which came to Auckland for a Ranfurly Shield challenge and emerged with a 5-all draw.

In 1914 he made the South Island side and from there won selection for the All Blacks’ tour of Australia. Because of World War I that was to be his only time in the All Blacks and there can only be regret that many of his best playing years were lost.

For the great hearted Irvine was a major success on tour. He played in 10 of the 11 matches including all three tests which brought the All Blacks a 3-0 series win.

By the time the war ended Irvine was in his early 30s, but he rounded out his playing days by appearing for Otago again in each of the 1918 and 1919 seasons.

Worked as a fireman.

Stats:
FULL NAME
John Gilbert Irvine

BORN
Sunday, 1 July 1888 in Dunedin

DIED
Saturday, 10 June 1939 in Queenstown

PHYSICAL
98kg

POSITION
Lock

LAST SCHOOL
Unknown

RUGBY CLUB
(First made All Blacks from)
Southern

PROVINCE
Otago

NICKNAME
Sal

ALL BLACK DEBUT
Wednesday, 1 July 1914
v Wellington at Wellington
aged 26 years, 0 days

INTERNATIONAL DEBUT
Saturday, 18 July 1914
v Australia at Sydney
aged 26 years, 17 days

LAST TEST
Saturday, 15 August 1914
v Australia at Sydney
aged 26 years, 45 days

ALL BLACK TESTS
3

ALL BLACK GAMES
7

TOTAL ALL BLACK MATCHES
10 10

ALL BLACK TEST POINTS
0pts

ALL BLACK GAME POINTS
0pts

TOTAL ALL BLACK POINTS
0pts

ALL BLACK NUMBER
208

ALL BLACK GAMES THAT IRVINE PLAYED

(+) = substitute; (-) = replaced

1914
1 Jul vs Wellington at Wellington 14-19

11 Jul vs N.S.W. at Sydney 27-6

15 Jul vs Central-Western Districts at Orange 59-10

18 Jul vs Australia at Sydney 5-0

22 Jul vs New England at Armidale 35-6

25 Jul vs Queensland at Brisbane 26-5

1 Aug vs Australia at Brisbane 17-0

5 Aug vs Metropolitan Union at Sydney 11-6

8 Aug vs N.S.W. at Sydney 25-10

15 Aug vs Australia at Sydney 22-7

Irvine did not score any points for the All Blacks.

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