Viv Thicknesse

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Viv Thicknesse
Birth nameVivian Arthur Thicknesse
Date of birth18 November 1910
Place of birthTemora, New South Wales
Date of death19 August 1986 (aged 75)
Place of deathOrange, New South Wales
Rugby league career
Position(s) Half-back
Senior career
Years Team Apps (Points)
1933–1937 Eastern Suburbs 75 (57)
Correct as of 31 December 2007
State of Origin
Years Team Apps (Points)
1933-1936 NSW 11 (9)
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
1933–1935 Australia 7 (0)
Correct as of 31 December 2007
Rugby union career
Position(s) Half-back
Amateur team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
1930-1932 Eastern Suburbs RUFC ()
Provincial / State sides
Years Team Apps (Points)
1930 New South Wales ()

Viv Thicknesse (1910–1986) was an Australian dual-code rugby half-back, a state representative in both rugby league and rugby union. His rugby league career was spent with the champion Eastern Suburbs sides of the 1930s and he represented for Australia in that code in seven Tests.

Playing career[edit]

Following his schooling at Sydney Boys High School in the 1920s,[1] Thicknesse was a half-back with Sydney's Eastern Suburbs Rugby Union Club. He switched to the professional code in 1931 and joining Eastern Suburbs' rugby league side. He was a member of the Tricolours' champion teams of the 1930s and won consecutive premierships with the club in the seasons of 1935, 1936 and NSWRL season 1937. He captained the 1937 side.

He represented for New South Wales on eleven occasions between 1933 and 1936 and made his international debut for Australia on the 1933-34 Kangaroo tour of Great Britain where he appeared in two Tests and in sixteen minor matches. He played in further Test series against New Zealand in 1935 and against Great Britain in 1936 for a total of seven career Test appearances. He is listed on the Australian Players Register as Kangaroo No. 181.[2] He formed a formidable representative halves pairing with Wests great Vic Hey and with his Easts clubmate Ernie Norman.


A halfback, Thicknesse was renowned for his passing game and was selected in Eastern Suburbs 'Team Of The Century'. Dally Messenger once said of Viv Thicknesse that "he rated him the equal of any half he had seen play the game".

In February 2008, Thicknesse was named in the list of Australia's 100 Greatest Players (1908–2007) which was commissioned by the NRL and ARL to celebrate the code's centenary year in Australia.[3][4]


Viv Thicknesse maintained scrapbooks throughout his playing career, and a diary of the 1933-34 Kangaroo tour of Great Britain. In 2012, the State Library of New South Wales acquired Viv Thicknesse's scrapbooks and diaries.[5][6]

Thicknesse scores in 1933 for NSW v Qld


  • Andrews, Malcolm (2006) The ABC of Rugby League Austn Broadcasting Corpn, Sydney
  • Whiticker, Alan & Hudson, Glen (2006) The Encyclopedia of Rugby League Players, Gavin Allen Publishing, Sydney


  1. ^
  2. ^ ARL Annual Report 2005, page 53
  3. ^ Peter Cassidy (23 February 2008). "Controversy reigns as NRL releases top 100 players". Macquarie National News. Archived from the original on 25 February 2008. Retrieved 23 February 2008.
  4. ^ "Centenary of Rugby League - The Players". NRL & ARL. 23 February 2008. Archived from the original on 26 February 2008. Retrieved 23 February 2008.
  5. ^ Carr, Andy (Summer 2013–14). "This Sporting Life" (PDF). SL Magazine. 6 (4): 35.
  6. ^ "Viv Thicknesse tour diary, scrapbooks, and photographs, 1931-1934 [catalogue record]". State Library of New South Wales Manuscripts, Oral History and Pictures Catalogue. State Library of New South Wales. Retrieved 2 September 2016.