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John Hipwell

John Hipwell
Birth nameJohn Noel Brian Hipwell
Date of birth(1948-01-24)24 January 1948
Place of birthMayfield, New South Wales
Date of death23 September 2013(2013-09-23) (aged 65)
Place of deathByron Bay, New South Wales
SchoolWallsend High School
ChildrenSarah-Jane, Jessica
Rugby union career
Position(s) Scrum-half
Amateur team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
Armidale City Rugby Club
Waratah Rugby Newcastle
Provincial / State sides
Years Team Apps (Points)
1968-1981 New South Wales 27 ()
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
1968-1982  Australia 36 (14)

John Noel Brian Hipwell (24 January 1948 – 23 September 2013) was an Australian national representative rugby union player who played and captained the Wallabies. He played the majority of his career at scrum half and his representative career spanned 14 seasons from 1968 to 1981.[1]

Rugby career

Hipwell was a junior and then senior player for the Waratahs Rugby Club in Newcastle NSW where he received tutelage from past Wallaby Cyril Burke. Hipwell's first international game was for NSW Country against the touring British Lions in 1966. He was then selected for the 1966–67 Australia rugby union tour of Britain, Ireland and France although he made no test appearances on that tour. His first Test cap came in 1968 against New Zealand, when he replaced Ken Catchpole who suffered a career-ending injury.[1]

He became a regular selection touring to the UK in 1968, South Africa in 1969, France in 1971 and Europe in 1973. In 1973 he was named as captain for the match against England at Twickenham in the absence of the injured tour captain, Peter Sullivan. Hipwell eventually captained Australia in nine Tests. He was the captain of the 1975-76 Australia rugby union tour of Britain and Ireland but a serious knee injury sustained in the match against North-East Counties recurred in the Test against Wales, forcing him off the field and keeping him out of international rugby for three years. In 1978 he returned, playing in three Tests against New Zealand. Hipwell's final international call-up came three years later, when he was selected for the 1981-82 Australia rugby union tour of Britain and Ireland and played in three of the four Test matches - in the game against England in January 1982 he played his final international game at 33 years of age.[1]


He received the Order of Australia Medal in 1982.[2] In 2006 he was honoured in the second set of inductees into the Australian Rugby Union Hall of Fame.[3]

International career

  • International Debut: Saturday, 15/06/1968 v New Zealand (Sydney) lost 27-11 - (Aged: 20)
  • Final Appearance: 02/01/1982 v England (Twickenham) lost 15-11 (Aged: 33)
  • Wallaby Number: 519[4]
  • 36 Australian Caps: 1968-82[5] Played: 36, Won: 11, Drew: 2, Lost: 23. Test Points: 14. Tries: 4

Later life

Hipwell taught at The Armidale School in the 1970s and 1980s and later taught at the Anglican Church Grammar School in Brisbane since 1990.[6] He also coached junior-grade rugby. He died on 23 September 2013.[7]


  1. ^ a b c "John Hipwell at". Archived from the original on 4 December 2010.
  2. ^ [1] Archived 4 December 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ [2]
  4. ^ [3] Archived 27 November 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ "Rugby photographic encyclopedia & rugby union player/hero images by". Retrieved 24 September 2013.
  6. ^ Mason, James (2011). Churchie: The Centenary Register. Brisbane, Australia: The Anglican Church Grammar School. ISBN 978-0-646-55807-3.
  7. ^ Newcastle Herald Rugby mourning John Hipwell

External links

Preceded by
Peter Sullivan
Australian national rugby union captain
Succeeded by
Geoff Shaw