Full name John David Brockhoff
Born June 8, 1928, Ross Bay, Sydney
Died June 17, 2011 (aged 83 years 9 days)
Major teams Australia
|Test debut||Australia v New Zealand Maori at Brisbane, Jun 11, 1949 match details|
|Last Test||Australia v New Zealand at Brisbane, Jul 21, 1951 match details|
|Test Statsguru||Main menu | Career summary | Match list | Most points | Most tries | Tournament list|
An icon of the Australian game as player and coach, 'Brock' was a life member of both the NSW and Australian Rugby Unions and remained actively involved in the game for his entire life.
Right up until his death in 2011, Brockhoff was still patrolling the sidelines at Waratahs training sessions - rain, hail or shine - and meetings with the coach, captain and back row became routine long ago. His mantra of 'Rugby worthiness' was no more clearly defined than in the man himself.
Born in 1928, Brockhoff was educated at The Scots College and spent three years in the 1st XV, one of them alongside future Australian captain John Solomon. Brockhoff is described in 'Guardians of the Game' as "an uncompromising flanker, fast in defence and attack, loads of courage and toughness, yet was never sent off in his career".
Enrolled at Sydney University, Mr Brockhoff gained blues in Rugby through four consecutive years from 1948 to 1951, playing 95 games for the University club before joining Eastern Suburbs in 1953. He made his state debut for NSW in 1949 and went on to represent Australia later that year against New Zealand Maori. In total, Brockhoff played 14 matches for NSW between 1949 and 1954, and 26 matches for Australia - including eight Tests - between 1949 and 1953. During his time as a player, Brockhoff shared in Australia's Bledisloe Cup-winning-series success in New Zealand in 1949, appearing in 10 of the 12 matches as well as both Tests of a series that the Wallabies won 2-nil.
He then featured on the tour of South Africa in 1953, which was his final expedition as part of the Wallaby side, appearing in 10 of the 27 games but missing out on selection in the Test side. Brockhoff played on after his time with the Wallabies concluded, offering faithful service as a player with Easts through until 1961. His love affair with the game then found its way into the coaching sphere, firstly with the Eastern Suburbs fourth grade side in 1963, with whom he won the premiership in his maiden season.
Various coaching roles followed, with Brockhoff returning to University in 1967 where he guided the club's first grade side to the final. Continuing to coach Sydney University with success, Brockhoff served three stints as NSW coach from 1970-71, 1973-74 and 1978. Brockhoff coached NSW on 18 occasions; only three other men coached the team to more games in 114 years of amateur Rugby.
His greatest feats in the coaching realm came in his six-year stint in charge of the Wallabies from 1974-79, remembered from this period as the man who restored pride to the Wallaby jersey. His first major success came in 1974-75 when Australia defeated England in two fiery Tests, while the final match of his tenure came in memorable circumstances when Australia beat New Zealand 12-6 in a one-off Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground to regain the Bledisloe Cup. The vision of Brockhoff grabbing the Bledisloe Cup and running around the perimeter of the SCG is one of the lasting images in Australian Rugby history.