John Graves (rugby league)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Not to be confused with Johnny Greaves.
Johnny Graves
Personal information
Full name John Neal Graves
Nickname Whacka
Born 1926
Died 23 July 1983
Paddington, New South Wales
Playing information
Position Wing
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1946 Maitland
1947–52 South Sydney 77 79 158 0 553
Total 77 79 158 0 553
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1946 Newcastle
1948–51 Australia 7 5 14 0 43
Source: [1]

John (Johnny) Graves (1926–23 Jul 1983) was an Australian rugby league footballer of the late 1940s and early 1950s. An Australian international representative goal-kicking winger, he played his club football for the South Sydney Rabbitohs, with whom he won back-to-back premierships in 1950-51.

Club career[edit]

Whacka Graves scores the first of his four tries in the 1951 Grand Final.

Known as "Whacka", Graves commenced his footballing in Newcastle, New South Wales and came to the attention of Sydney talent scouts when he scored two tries in his international debut representing Newcastle against a touring British side in 1946.

Graves joined South Sydney in 1947 and after only four first grade games was selected for New South Wales. He formed a strong backline pairing with Clive Churchill and was victorious in Grand Finals with Souths in 1950 (scoring two tries) and in 1951 (scoring four tries).

Representative career[edit]

He debuted for Australia against New Zealand in the 1st Test of 1948, played in the rest of that series and then toured Great Britain with the 1948 Kangaroos. He played in two Tests and twenty Tour games returning as the side's top scorer with 16 tries and 35 goals for 188 points.

He represented for Australia in seven Test matches (3 Great Britain, 3 New Zealand and 1 France) between 1948 and 1951. He was selected to represent Sydney against France during their 1951 tour of Australasia in a match that ended in a 19-all draw.


He was the NSW Rugby Football League's top try-scorer season 1951 and his achievement that year of 28 tries in 17 games still stands in 4th place on the overall Australian list of Most Tries by an Individual in One Season. As of 2009, his record of four tries in a grand final, also achieved that season still stands.[1]

He holds positions 1, 2, 4 and 5 in the table of Most Points in a Match for the Rabbitohs with respectively 29 points (Round 8, 1952 v Easts); 27 points (Round 14, 1949 v Easts); 23 points(Round 18, 1952 v Newtown) and 23 points (Round 10, 1948 v Parramatta).

Along with five other Rabbitohs he has achieved the feat of scoring five tries in a single match (Round 14, 1949 v Easts.)


  1. ^ "Grand final simply super". Illawarra Mercury. Fairfax Digital. 1997-09-21. p. 26. Retrieved 2009-10-06. 

Published sources[edit]

  • Andrews, Malcolm (2006) The ABC of Rugby League, Austn Broadcasting Corpn, Sydney
  • NRL Official 2007 Season Guide, News Magazines Surry Hills Sydney, for the National Rugby League