Des White

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Des White
Personal information
Full name Desmond Henry White
Born 1927
Playing information
Position Fullback
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1947–?? Ponsonby
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1950–56 New Zealand 21 2 47 0 100
Coaching information
Years Team Gms W D L W%
1961 New Zealand 2 1 0 1 50
Source: RLP

Desmond Henry "Des" White[1] (born 1927) is a New Zealand former professional rugby league footballer of the 1940s and 1950s. A record-breaking goal-kicking fullback,[2] he was named amongst the country's finest players of the 20th century. His total for points scored in all matches (61) for the Kiwis is a record 467 (7 tries and 233 goals). He won championships with Auckland's Ponsonby club and his total of 794 points (391 goals and four tries) is the all-time club record.

Playing career[edit]

White played his first senior game with the Auckland Rugby League's Ponsonby club in 1947.[3]

White toured Britain with the New Zealand national team in 1951, playing in the first ever televised match of rugby league at Station Road, Swinton against Great Britain and kicking two goals.[4] During the 1951 French rugby league tour of Australia and New Zealand, White was selected to play for both Auckland and New Zealand at fullback. He later kicked a world record 11 goals (from 14 attempts) against Australia in 1952 when New Zealand won the Test series in Brisbane. On that tour he set another record by scoring 107 points to become the first Kiwi to top the century in Australia. White kicked 18 goals in the series, equalling the world record.

In 1954, while playing for Auckland against Great Britain, he ruptured his spleen when tackled illegally by Doug Greenall. White underwent surgery and was out of the game for two years, missing the first ever World Cup in 1954.[5]

He scored 132 points in 21 tests, a Kiwi record until overtaken by Matthew Ridge. His total of 467 points in 61 matches in the black and white jersey may never be overtaken now that long tours are a thing of the past. White's record 202 points on the tour of Britain and France in 1951/52 will probably last forever.

Later years[edit]

Following his retirement, White became a coach and led Auckland. He was appointed coach of the New Zealand national team in 1961, only spending one season in the position.[citation needed]

Des White was inducted into the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame in 1990. In 1995 he was one of the inaugural inductees of the NZRL's Legends of League.[6] He is also an Auckland Rugby League Immortal.[7]

In 2007, White was named at fullback in the New Zealand Rugby League's team of the century of 1907 to 2007.


  1. ^ WHITE, Desmond Henry 1950 - 54, 1956 - Kiwi #323
  2. ^ John Coffey, Bernie Wood (2008). 100 years: Māori rugby league, 1908-2008. Huia Publishers. p. 127. ISBN 978-1-86969-331-2. 
  3. ^ Smith, Max (1966). Game as you like. Whitcombe and Tombs. 
  4. ^ "When League was the new TV game". On this day in history. League Publications Ltd. Retrieved 2009-07-13. 
  5. ^ Coffey, John and Bernie Wood Auckland, 100 years of rugby league, 1909-2009, 2009. ISBN 978-1-86969-366-4, p.161.
  6. ^ "New Zealand Rugby League Annual Report 2008" (pdf). NZRL. 2008. Retrieved 2009-07-21. [dead link]
  7. ^ Stacey Jones, Auckland Rugby League Immortal, 21 September 2003

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Travers Hardwick
New Zealand Kiwis

Succeeded by
Bill Telford