William Tyler (rugby)

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Billy Tyler
Personal information
Full name William Thomas Tyler
Playing information
Weight 86 kg (13 st 8 lb; 190 lb)
Rugby union
Position Scrum-half
Club
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1905–07 Auckland
Rugby league
Position Centre, Stand-off, Halfback, Loose forward
Club
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1908–12 Ponsonby United
Representative
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1907–08 New Zealand 6
1908–09 Auckland
Source: RLP

William "Bill" Thomas Tyler[1] was a New Zealand rugby footballer who was part of the professional 1907-1908 New Zealand rugby tour of Great Britain.

Rugby Football[edit]

He started his career playing rugby union for the City Club in Auckland. Tyler was a Scrum-Half but also played at Wing-Forward, a position that had already been abandoned in other countries. Aged 25, he was selected for Auckland in 1905 and was part of the team that won the Ranfurly Shield from Wellington.[2] Tyler had scored the winning try and was well known for this deed.

Rugby League[edit]

In 1907 Tyler joined the professional All Blacks in their tour of Great Britain and Australia. Like the rest of the touring party Tyler was banned for life by the New Zealand Rugby Union. While on tour he played in six test matches and scored the match winning try in the third test against Great Britain.[2] He then played in the first ever trans-Tasman test which was the debut match of the Australia national rugby league team. In all tour games Tyler scored three tries.

Following the tour's return to New Zealand Tyler became one of the founding member of the Ponsonby United Rugby League Club in 1908 alongside fellow tourist Charles Dunning. He also played for Auckland and was part of the first ever provincial rugby league match in New Zealand, in which Auckland defeated Wellington 16-14.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ TYLER, William Thomas 1907 - 08 - Kiwi #22 nzleague.co.nz
  2. ^ a b c John Haynes From All Blacks to All Golds: Rugby League's Pioneers, Christchurch, Ryan and Haynes, 1996. ISBN 0-473-03864-1