George A. Gillett

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George A. Gillett
George Gillett 1911.jpg
Personal information
Full name George Arthur Gillett
Born (1877-04-23)23 April 1877
Leeston, New Zealand
Died 12 September 1956(1956-09-12) (aged 79)
Auckland, New Zealand
Playing information
Height 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
Weight 83 kg (13 st 1 lb)
Rugby union
Position Fullback
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1905–08 Auckland
Years Team Pld T G FG P
New Zealand 8 7
Rugby league
Position Fullback
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1911 New Zealand 1
1911–12 Australasia
Coaching information
Years Team Gms W D L W%
1912 New Zealand

George Arthur Gillett (23 April 1877 – 12 September 1956) was a renowned New Zealand multi-code footballer of the early 20th century and a dual-code rugby international. Gillett died in 1956 in Onehunga.

Early years[edit]

Born in Leeston, Gillett received his education at Hamilton East School and went on to represent Thames, and then Auckland in rugby union in 1899.

Australian rules football[edit]

After serving in the South African war, he lived in Kalgoorlie and whilst there played Australian rules football, representing Western Australia.[1]

Return to New Zealand and rugby union[edit]

Gillett returned to New Zealand in 1905 where he lived in Christchurch and played for the Merivale club. He was selected for the 1905–06 Original All Blacks tour without having played a game for Canterbury. On that tour he played 25 of the 35 matches including his first Test cap for New Zealand on 18 November 1905 against Scotland. In total he played 30 matches during the period of 1905 to 1908 including eight Tests.

Rugby league[edit]

After switching to rugby league Gillett toured Australia with the 1911 New Zealand national team and was one of four New Zealanders who toured Britain with the 1911–12 Australasian team. He played in five tour matches but no Tests. Gillet coached the 1912 New Zealand side who played the touring New South Wales team.[2]

He later became the New Zealand Rugby League's official organiser, helping to promote the game particularly in the Thames and Wellington areas.


In 1908, the touring Anglo-Welsh team were departing by ship when one of their players, Percy Down, fell overboard. Gillett, along with Arthur 'Bolla' Francis and two others, dived into the water and kept Down afloat until a rope was lowered from the ship.[3]


  1. ^ John Coffey, Bernie Wood (2008). 100 years: Māori rugby league, 1908–2008. Huia Publishers. p. 55. ISBN 1-86969-331-0. ISBN 9781869693312. 
  2. ^ Coffey, John and Bernie Wood Auckland, 100 years of rugby league, 1909–2009, 2009. ISBN 978-1-86969-366-4.
  3. ^ "Statistics at". 31 December 2010. Retrieved 1 January 2011. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
New Zealand Kiwis

Succeeded by
Jim Rukutai