Corrado Italo Ansel Monti
- 320Wallaby Number
‘Bill’ Monti was a strapping lock forward of Italian heritage whose career was ended in its prime by World War II. Tough and hardy, Monti was a more than useful tight forward and line-out jumper.
Born at Broadwater in the Richmond River region of New South Wales, Monti was sent to Sydney and educated at St Joseph’s College, Hunters Hill where he starred in both rugby and rowing. In 1932 he sat in the No.3 seat when Joeys won the Head of the River and a year later he played in the 1st XV that shared the GPS premiership with Shore.
After graduation Monti moved to Brisbane and enrolled in Dentistry at the University of Queensland. He played his rugby for University and also took up boxing where he became the Australian Universities heavyweight champion. In 1937 Toowoomba was thumped 0-60 by the touring Springboks and that result saw Monti called into the Queensland side for his representative debut. Despite a 4-39 defeat Monti earned strong reviews where it was said that his form 'was particularly pleasing’ and that he required 'only experience to gain him the highest of honours’.
The following year Australia fell 9-24 in the opening Test against New Zealand in Sydney. The Wallaby selectors made seven changes for the second Test in Brisbane that included a debut for Monti. His performance in that match earned him selection for the final Test in Sydney however he withdrew as his mother was seriously ill. The following year he was chosen for the Second Wallabies tour to the U.K. but no sooner had the team reached Britain than war was declared. Upon his return home Monti retired from rugby, joined the RAAF and served as a Flight Lieutenant until he was discharged in 1946.
‘Bill’ Monti played one Test for Australia and will forever be Wallaby #320.
Monti won his first Test cap at lock in combination with Russ Kelly in the 2nd Test, 14-20 loss to New Zealand at the Exhibition Ground. It was written that ”great work of the Australian vanguard' [including Monti] “paved the way for a brilliant second half display by the Australian backs” despite the defeat.