Canterbury Rugby League congratulates Chairperson Wally Wilson on his recent life membership honour from Linwood Keas.

Wilson began playing in the Linwood junior grades as a 10-year-old in 1962 and represented Canterbury at age-group level as well as winning selection for the New Zealand Under-17s team.

He played for the club’s premiers team for the first time in 1971 and went on to play more than 400 games for Linwood over 15 seasons, while he was a tryscorer in the 1974 grand final loss to Papanui. After hanging up the boots, Wilson branched into coaching.

Wilson made his senior debut for Canterbury in 1973 and went on to captain his province in 30 of his 40 appearances – including the watershed defeat of Auckland in 1975 and the match against Wales the same year.

Wilson made the first of seven appearances for South Island in 1979 and skippered the side against Central Districts in 1981 with West Coast and New Zealand incumbent No.7 Gordon Smith out injured.

Smith’s absence saw Wilson called up to the Kiwis’ squad for the home series against France. Auckland’s Shane Varley claimed the starting halfback role for both clashes but the 28-year-old Wilson came off the bench late in the 25-2 victory in the second Test at Carlaw Park.

A selector for the highly successful Canterbury team of the early-1990s, Wilson assumed the coaching reins in 1994 when Endacott linked with the Auckland Warriors.

Wilson has been a tireless off-field servant to multiple sports and was awarded a Queen’s Service Medal in 2011 for his contribution to rugby league and surf lifesaving, and continues to work hard for our game as Chairperson of the Canterbury Rugby League board.

CRL thanks Wally for his significant contribution to the game both at a club and regional level over many years.

2024-05-07 09_49_18-(3) Facebook
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