Rugby union convert Lou Petersen was a prominent figure in Canterbury and New Zealand rugby league during the mid-1920s.

Petersen featured in Canterbury’s famous 6-4 defeat of South Africa at Lancaster Park in 1921, before playing eight matches (no Tests) for the All Blacks to the end of 1923.

Switching codes with Marist Old Boys in 1924 amid the Payne Trophy furore, Petersen withdrew from the New Zealand trials in his first rugby league season but was nevertheless called up to face England in the second and third Tests as a second-rower.

Petersen missed the tour to Australia in 1925 but faced the revered Queensland tourists as part of the New Zealand and Canterbury packs later that year.

He was chosen for the 1926-27 tour of Britain but was one of the central figures as the relationship between a section of the squad and co-manager and Ernest Mair broke down soon after the New Zealand team touched down in the Old Dart.

Petersen did manage to win selection for the second Test against England at Hull – scoring a try in the 21-11 loss – but was among seven players who subsequently opted to strike and were banned for life by the NZRL upon their return home.

Akaroa-born Petersen passed away in Christchurch in 1961, aged 65, a year before the dissenting group of 1926-27 tourists were reinstated by the NZRL.

NEW ZEALAND (1924-27)
3 Tests – 1 try (3 points)
-1926-27 New Zealand tour of tour of Britain