A prominent player in Canterbury Rugby League’s pioneering era, Bill King played one Test for New Zealand against Australia in 1919.
He switched codes from the Sydenham rugby union club late in 1913 – the first season of rugby league in the region – along with brothers Tom and Frank. A fourth King brother, Bert, would later join them in the Sydenham rugby league line-up.
King featured in Canterbury’s historic 1915 clash with West Coast in Greymouth before serving in World War I.
The versatile forward withdrew from New Zealand’s 1919 tour of Australia for business reasons, but he was chosen in the back-row for the first Test in Wellington later that year – a 44-21 loss to the Australian visitors, who boasted the likes of future Immortal Frank Burge and Jack ‘Bluey’ Watkins in their pack.
With brother Tom, King featured in Canterbury’s first match against an international team, a 29-14 loss to England at Lancaster Park in 1920.
NEW ZEALAND (1919)
1 Tests – 0 points