Cliff Johnson (rugby league)

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Cliff Johnson
Personal information
Full name Clifford Raymond Johnson
Playing information
Position Prop, Second-row
Years Team Pld T G FG P
19?? Richmond
Years Team Pld T G FG P
19?? Auckland
1950–60 New Zealand 34 4 0 0 12
Source: RLP

Clifford Raymond Johnson[1] was a New Zealand rugby league footballer who has been named one of the finest the country produced during the 20th century.[2] An international representative, he played mainly as a prop forward.

Playing career[edit]

Johnson played for the Richmond Bulldogs in the Auckland Rugby League competition.[3] From here he represented Auckland and New Zealand. Between 1950 and 1960 he played a total of 34 tests for his country, a new record at the time of his retirement. He also played in three World Cup tournaments. Including minor tour matches, Johnson played a total of 70 matches for New Zealand.

During the 1951 French rugby league tour of Australia and New Zealand, Johnson was selected to play for both Auckland and New Zealand. Johnson was originally selected for the 1955–56 New Zealand rugby tour of Great Britain and France but withdrew and was replaced by Henry Maxwell.

He retired following the 1960 World Cup.[4]


After retirement he was the foundation chairman of the Howick Rugby League Football Club.[5]

Johnson was inducted as one of the New Zealand Rugby League's inaugural "Legends of League" in 1995.[6]

After his death he was named as captain of the New Zealand national rugby league team of the century in 2007.


  1. ^ JOHNSON, Clifford Raymond 1950 - 60 - Kiwi #325 Archived July 19, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ "Graham top choice for the century". New Zealand: APN Holdings NZ Limited. 2007-12-02. Retrieved 2009-12-04. 
  3. ^ New Zealand Kiwis Archived May 27, 2009, at the Wayback Machine. Richmond Rovers RLC
  4. ^ Coffey, John and Bernie Wood Auckland, 100 years of rugby league, 1909-2009, 2009. ISBN 978-1-86969-366-4. p.183.
  5. ^ Club History Howick Hornets
  6. ^ "New Zealand Rugby League Annual Report 2008" (PDF). NZRL. 2008. Retrieved 2009-07-21. [dead link]