Sydenham centre Ray Brown was the Kiwis’ vice-captain on their 1938 tour of Australia.
The Canterbury rugby union rep was lured to the 13-a-side game by English club Barrow in 1936 – along with several Sydenham RFC clubmates – before returning to Christchurch in 1938 and accepting a captain-coach position with Canterbury Rugby League.
Brown was one of just three South Island players to secure a berth with the 1938 Kiwis, the first New Zealand rugby league team to officially carry the name. No Tests were played but Brown played in six of the nine games in Australia, scoring two tries.
Brother Len’s selection for the 1939 Kiwis, whose tour to Britain was scuttled after just two games by World War II, saw the Browns become the first Canterbury brothers to play rugby league for New Zealand.
Ray later rescinded a brief wartime retirement to play for Canterbury in 1945.
NEW ZEALAND (1938)
6 tour matches – 2 tries (6 points)
-1938 Kiwis tour of Australia