Born: 9 January, 1927 – Gisborne
Died: 24 February, 2016 – Masterton
Test record: 1 Test (1951) – 0 points
Tours: 1951-52 tour of Britain and France
Wellington front-rower Ken English toured Britain and France with the 1951-52 Kiwis after making his sole Test appearance against the latter at Carlaw Park only weeks earlier.
The Gisborne-born, ex-rugby union forward played for the St George club and Wellington from 1947. He represented Southern Provinces in a narrow loss to the 1949 Australian tourists, facing up to a pack including the likes of Manly great Roy Bull.
After scoring a try in Wellington’s loss to the famous 1951 French tourists, English was outstanding on international debut six days later in New Zealand’s 16-15 victory in the one-off Test. The 24-year-old was named to tour with the Kiwis the following month. Although he did not feature in any Tests abroad, English played 14 tour matches – including a two-try display in a win over York.
English later became a hardworking administrator and was awarded Wellington Rugby League and New Zealand Rugby League life memberships. He passed away in Masterton in 2016, aged 89.