A tourist to England with the 1926-27 New Zealand team, Wally Desmond began a globetrotting career in Canterbury.
The versatile Linwood back represented Canterbury in 1925 but transferred to West Coast mid-season, representing that province against Queensland from the Runanga club.
Desmond was on the move again ahead of the 1926 season, earning North Island and New Zealand trial selection from Wellington. After featuring in New Zealand’s win over an Auckland combination prior to the tour of England, he scored eight tries in 15 matches on the troubled trip abroad and played five-eighth in the 28-20 loss in the first Test at Wigan.
The 21-year-old returned to the Old Dart soon after the New Zealand team landed back home, joining Leeds and enjoyed subsequent stints at Castleford, Batley and Bramley.
Desmond married and settled in Leeds, passing away in the Yorkshire city in 1993, aged 87.
NEW ZEALAND (1926-27)
1 Test – 0 points
15 tour matches – 8 tries (24 points)
-1926-27 New Zealand tour of Britain