Allan Coventry Munsie
- 255Wallaby Number
Allan Munsie was a hardened, country born flanker who came to the fore in the late 1920s when just three of the 1927/28 Waratahs were available for the subsequent New South Wales tour to New Zealand.
Born at Guyra in northern New South Wales, Munsie was tall for his era at 6ft. 3in. and as such became an excellent third option in the line-out. After school he played for Australs in the local Inverell competition and from there won selection in the regional North-West side.
In 1928 he showed ‘great promise’ at the Country Week Carnival and it was written that he only required a few first class matches in order for him to display his best form. Munsie’s consistently efforts earned him selection for the Combined Country XV and, as a consequence, a debut for New South Wales. He ‘shone in the vanguard’ as NSW struggled to a 22-19 win over Victoria at Carlton Park and although not picked for the return encounter in Sydney was named in the 26 strong squad for the state tour of New Zealand.
One of three country men in the team - alongside North-West teammate Don Bull and New England’s Bernard Croft - Munsie played in three of the ten matches. The second of those matches was the second ‘Test’ against New Zealand in Dunedin, which, some 66 years later, would be confirmed as his Test debut. That match was one of 34 that were retrospectively elevated to Test status by the ARU in order to recognise all New South Wales fixtures played against international opposition in the 1920-28 period (the five 1927/28 Waratahs’ internationals had been granted Test status in 1986).
Upon his return to Australia, Munsie continued to show for North-West and in 1929 he represented NSW Country against the All Blacks. The following season he switched codes to play rugby league with Ashford. When wartime came Munsie joined the RAAF Reservists in a Light Horse Regiment. He attained the rank of Corporal and was mobilised to the Philippines in August of 1944.
Allan Munsie played one Test for Australia and will forever be Wallaby #255.
Munsie won his first Test cap at flanker, in a back-row that included Myer Rosenblum and Bob Loudon, in the 14-16 loss to New Zealand at Carisbrook.