Born: 31 March, 1944
Died: 31 October, 1993
Test record: 2 Tests (1966-67) – 0 points
Tours: 1967 tour of Australia
Stalwart Taranaki winger Willie Southorn made his Test debut against the 1966 Lions before touring Australia with the Kiwis the following season.
Incredibly, Southorn was just 15 when he broke into the Taranaki side in 1959. He was called up for the second Test against Great Britain in the ’66 series at home, which saw New Zealand go down 22-14 at Carlaw Park.
Southorn earned a place on New Zealand’s tour across the Tasman in 1967 and scored three tries in nine appearances, as well as featuring in the second-Test defeat to the green-and-golds at Lang Park.
The New Zealand Māori rep later gravitated towards the front-row as his tenure in the Taranaki team stretched beyond 20 years. The first player to make 100 appearances for the province, Southorn was named in the Taranaki Rugby League Team of the Century in 2008.