John Thornett (born 30 March 1935) is a former Australian rugby union player, having played 37 Tests for Australia between 1955 and 1967. He captained Australia on four of the eight occasions that he went on tour.
Thornett was born in Sydney, and was educated at Sydney Boys High School, graduating in 1951, where he was School Captain, a champion swimmer, crewed in the Eight, and also captained the rugby firsts alongside another champion swimmer and rugby great, Colin Smee. John went on to play rugby for both the Sydney University and Northern Suburbs clubs. In 1954 he toured with the Australian Universities team to New Zealand. In 1955 he first played for New South Wales. That same year he debuted for Australia. The following year he again toured with the Australian Universities side, going to Japan. He played for the Wallabies and went on numerous tours all through the late fifties and sixties.
He was the second Australian player, after Nicholas Shehadie, to play 100 games for his country. He also represented New South Wales at water polo in the mid to late 1950s. His brothers Dick and Ken were also champion sportsmen. Dick represented for Australia at water polo and both rugby codes while Ken represented at rugby league.
In 2005 he was honoured as one of the inaugural five inductees into the Australian Rugby Union Hall of Fame. Upon his induction Australian Rugby Union President Paul McLean referred to Thornett's name as: "synonymous with Australian pride and great leadership". His portrait hangs in the offices of the Australian Rugby Union.
- "Thornett, John ARU Hall of Fame". aru.rugby.com.au. Retrieved 18 July 2011.