Rakaia’s George Bellaney was a shock Kiwis selection for the 1939 tour to Britain, featuring in one of the two matches played before the trip was curtailed by the outbreak of World War II.

Gore-born Bellaney played rugby union in Otago and Southland before moving to South Canterbury and joining the newly admitted Rakaia club in 1938.

A Canterbury rep in 1938-39, the halfback-cum-loose forward snagged a spot in the New Zealand squad (alongside clubmates Jack Campbell and Ces Davison) courtesy of a standout performance in the curtain-raiser to the North Island v South Island match at Carlaw Park.

The 29-year-old debut for the Kiwis in the match against Dewsbury prior to the tour’s cancellation.

A serious knee injury suffered while working on a New Zealand Army vehicle at Waiouru ended Bellaney’s playing days.

0 Tests
1 tour match – 0 points
-1939 Kiwis tour of Britain