Born: 17 January, 1878
Died: 6 December, 1955
Test record: 2 Tests (1908, 1910) – 0 points
Tours: 1907-08 tour of Australia and Britain, 1911 tour of Australia
Former Auckland rugby union forward Charles Dunning was a member of the pioneering 1907-08 All Golds touring squad, later captaining New Zealand in a Test against England and on a tour of Australia.
Dunning played club rugby for Ponsonby and Gisborne before representing Auckland from 1905-07, as well as North Island in 1906. He accepted a place in Albert Baskerville’s trail-blazing team of ‘professionals’ and – with Billy Wynyard – was the last to link up with the squad after turning out for Auckland against Hawke’s Bay in a successful Ranfurly Shield defence.
The front-rower, who turned 30 in Britain, featured in the tourists’ 8-5 victory over Northern Union in the deciding third Test at Cheltenham.
Part of the Auckland side in a historic 1908 match against Wellington after the All Golds’ return and integral to forming the Ponsonby United club in 1909, Dunning captained New Zealand in the sole Test against the 1910 British tourists – a 52-20 loss at Auckland’s Domain Cricket Ground.
Dunning subsequently skippered New Zealand on its 1911 tour of Australia (no Tests were played) and scored two tries in a 24-13 win over Queensland. He ventured across the Tasman again with the New Zealand team in 1912 and made his last appearance for his country against the touring NSW side later that year.
A builder by trade, Dunning suffered a severe leg injury serving in World War I, walking with the aid of a stick until his death in 1955, aged 77.