Born: 7 May, 1894 – Adelaide, South Australia
Died: 1 November, 1966 – Rotorua
Test record: 3 Tests (1920) – 0 points
Tours: 1921 tour of Australia
Robust three-quarter Charles Woolley featured in all three Tests of New Zealand’s 1920 home series against England before touring Australia the following season.
Born in Adelaide, Woolley moved to New Zealand with his parents as a seven-year-old. He played rugby union for Ponsonby before switching codes with City Rovers and playing on the wing for Auckland against England in 1914.
Woolley served in World War I with the New Zealand Army for four years and saw action in Egypt and Western Europe, earning the British War Medal and Victory Medal.
He returned home and to rugby league with the Grafton club in 1920, representing Auckland against England and receiving a maiden call-up to the New Zealand side. The 26-year-old started at centre throughout the hosts’ 3-0 series defeat – opposing the likes of brilliant England captain Harold Wagstaff – as well taking on the tourists on the wing for North Island.
Woolley was named vice-captain of New Zealand’s 1921 squad for the tour of Australia. No Tests were played, but he featured in six of the eight matches and scored tries in wins over Queensland (opposite future Australian Test captain Tom Gorman) and Newcastle.