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John Raper

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Player Bio

Honoured:
1981
Birthplace:
Sydney, NSW
Date of Birth:
12 April 1939
Nickname:
Chook
Debut Team:
Newtown
Opposition:
Manly Warringah
Date:
06 April 1957
Venue:
Henson Park, Marrickville
Representative:
City, Country, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Clubs:
Newtown, St George, Wests Newcastle, Kurri Kurri

Career

Milestones
  • Premierships: 1959-66
  • Kangaroo Tours: 1959-60, 1963-64, 1967-68
  • NSWRL Player of the Year: 1961, 1965
  • Sun-Herald Best and Fairest: 1960, 1963, 1967
  • Grand Final man of the match*: 1966
  • Harry Sunderland Medal: 1964
  • Australian Rugby League Team of the Century: 2008
  • New South Wales Team of the Century: 2008
  • Australian captain: 8 Tests
  • Immortal: 1981
  • Rated No. 2 in Rugby League Week’s Top 100 players: 1992
  • Named in NRL Team of the 1950s: 2007
  • Named in NRL Team of the 1960s: 2006
First Class Games
377
Points
298
Tries
96

Biography

Frank Hyde declared in 1995: ''When Johnny Raper was born, they not only destroyed the mould, they pulped it. I rate him the finest footballer I have seen.'' Raper first blossomed during a single year at Newtown, winning his spurs for Sydney and Sydney Colts against the Great Britain tourists of 1958.

Jack Gibson played alongside him for Sydney and remembered him later as ''being small and not all that quick, but he had football instinct. There was an intensity about him. Nobody trained like he did''.

St George secretary Frank Facer convinced Raper to become a Saint, and so from 1959 began a genuinely monumental career of achievement: eight premierships with St George, 33 Tests for Australia, three Kangaroo tours, victorious Australian captain at the 1968 World Cup, and countless games at all levels at which people marvelled at his quality.

Raper was a marvellous copybook tackler, famous for his scything low dives and he had a beautiful instinct for doing the right thing with the ball in his hands.

His endurance was remarkable in days when footballers played 80 minutes.

Raper's masterpiece is generally considered to be the second Test at Swinton in 1963, in which the Australians launched a murderous 12 try onslaught — with Raper having a direct hand in nine of them.

''His was the greatest game I have ever seen,'' declared ARL chairman Bill Buckley. He stayed at Saints until 1969, appearing in 186 first-grade games for the club, before finishing his playing career at Newcastle.

“He was small and not all that quick but he had rare football instincts and courage.”

Jack Gibson Master coach

Career Stats

Club Career

Club
Team Name Competition Year Start Year End Played Tries Goals Field Goals Points
Newtown Bluebags Premiership 1957 1958 35 10 - - 30
St George Dragons Premiership 1959 1969 180 47 - 4 149
St George Dragons Official Pre-Season 1963 1969 30 4 - - 12
St George Dragons Touring Sides 1962 1963 2 - - - -
St George Dragons State Cup 1964 1965 4 2 - - 6

Representative Career

City - Country

City - Country
Team Name Opponent Year Start Year End Played Tries Goals Field Goals Points
City Seconds Country Seconds
1958
1969
1958
1969
2 1 - - 3
City Firsts Country Firsts
1959
1963
1960
1968
8 - - - -
Country Firsts City Firsts 1970 1970 1 - 1 - 2
Country City 1970 1970 1 - - - -

State

State
Team Name Competition Opponent Year Start Year End Played Tries Goals Field Goals Points
New South Wales Interstate Series Queensland
1959
1963
1970
1961
1968
1970
24 5 - - 15
New South Wales Touring Sides
1959
1962
1966
1960
1963
1967
7 2 - - 6
New South Wales Tour Matches 1965 1965 1 - - - -

International

International
Team Name Competition Year Start Year End Played Tries Goals Field Goals Points
Australia Tests and World Cup
1959
1962
1966
1960
1964
1968
39 11 - - 33
Australia Tour Matches
1959
1963
1967
1960
1964
1968
35 12 - - 36

Other Representative

Other Representative
Team Name Opponent Year Start Year End Played Tries Goals Field Goals Points
NSW Colts Great Britain 1958 1958 1 - - - -

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