Born: 11 June, 1882
Died: 30 October, 1964 – Sydney
Test record: 1 Test (1909) – 0 points
Tours: 1909 tour of Australia
Pioneering front-row forward Con Sullivan holds the rare distinction of having represented New Zealand and Australia in Test rugby league, joining North Sydney after being part of the 1909 squad that toured across the Tasman.
The former Wellington rugby union forward switched codes and was named in the New Zealand side to venture to Australia a year after the trail-blazing All Golds’ return. Sullivan played six matches – including the 19-11 first-Test win over Australia in Sydney – but a broken leg suffered in a 40-25 victory against Queensland curtailed his on-field contribution.
Sullivan recovered to represent Wellington against Auckland and Taranaki later in 1909 but migrated to Sydney and joined Norths the following season, playing 71 games in six campaigns with the ‘Shoremen’.
The front-rower played the first of six Tests for Australia against the 1910 English tourists. He went away with the 1911-12 Australasian Kangaroos and featured in all three home Tests against England in 1914. Sullivan also played for NSW against the New Zealand tourists of 1911 and 1913, and visited the Shaky Isles with NSW in 1912 and 1913.
The Sullivan family name would become intrinsically linked with North Sydney in the ensuing eight decades, with Con’s sons, John and Bob, turning out for the club in the 1940s and 1950s. Bob Sullivan played 118 games for Norths, represented Australia in one Test in 1954 and was a long-serving club president.