Born: 31 December, 1931
Test record: 17 Tests (1952-56) – 7 tries, 11 goals (43 points)
Tours: 1952 tour of Australia, 1954 World Cup, 1955-56 tour of Great Britain and France
Taranaki and Auckland rep Ron McKay was a prolific tryscorer and goalkicker during the 1950s, including in 17 Test appearances at centre for New Zealand.
McKay played for Western Suburbs in the Taranaki competition and represented his province against the famed 1951 French tourists as a 19-year-old.
The following season he snared a place in the Kiwis’ squad to tour Australia and won an immediate Test call-up. After debuting in the 25-13 series-opening loss, McKay had a blinder in the unforgettable 49-25 demolition of the green-and-golds at Lang Park, scoring two tries. The youngster added another in the 19-9 victory that sealed a historic series win at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
McKay was similarly outstanding as New Zealand carved out a 2-1 home series victory over Australia in 1953, crossing twice in the 25-5 blowout win in the Christchurch opener and dotting down once in the 12-11 second-Test success at the Basin Reserve.
Shifting to Auckland and the Marist club (as player-coach) in 1954, McKay played in only the first Test against Great Britain that year – a 27-7 loss at Carlaw Park. But he was named in New Zealand’s inaugural World Cup squad at the end of the season and featured in all three matches.
The Kiwis lost all three games, but McKay featured prominently on the scoresheet with a try against France (his seventh in eight Tests), six goals against Australia and three goals against Great Britain. He also played in New Zealand’s post-tournament exhibition matches against Australia at Leigh, England, and Long Beach, California.
McKay featured in both home Tests against France in 1955, slotting two goals in the series-levelling second-Test win in Auckland before embarking on the Kiwis’ tour of Britain and France. He played in five of the six Test matches abroad and finished the trip with five tries and eight goals from 19 minor matches.
McKay continued to represent Auckland and North Island after his Kiwis tenure wrapped up, before heading across the Tasman and playing for Nowra on the NSW South Coast. He was named in the Taranaki Team of the Century in 2008.