Henry Robert Pigott

  • 1Caps
  • 182Wallaby Number
PositionFlanker/ No. 8
Date Of Birth24 May 1899
Place Of BirthBlayney, NSW
SchoolAll Saints' College, Bathurst
Debut ClubGPS Old Boys (Sydney)
ProvinceNSW
Died20 July 1981
Debut Test Match1922 Wallabies v New Zealand Maori, 3rd Test Sydney
Final Test Match1922 Wallabies v New Zealand Maori, 3rd Test Sydney

Biography

Henry Pigott was another product of the All Saints College at Bathurst who gained international status. The others have been Roger Barton, John Maund, Francis Bede and Lancelot Smith, Scott Staniforth and Norm Street. An army man, he finished a BA and BSc while serving in the military, and was in World War 1. He played for Duntroon and GPS Old Boys (Sydney), and then while in England played for United Services, Kent and Blackheath before coming back to Australia and playing for the Waratahs.

Though he played for United Services, for some reason he was not on the 1919 team which did much to rejuvenate interest in rugby union in Australia after the war, while rugby league had continued its competitions. In Queensland, rugby union did not re-commence until 1929, with the so-called “Revivalists”. The first international team to tour Australia after the war was the 1920 All Blacks, captained by Billy Tilyard. The Union code was in a perilous state at the time, and New Zealand agreed to exchange tours annually to assist the game in Australia. Few today appreciate how New Zealand was pivotal in restoring the code.

Henry Pigott, a forward, went up against New Zealand in 1920 at the Sydney Sports Ground, playing for a NSW Second XV, which was defeated by 18 to 31. After the interval, Pigott scored a try, which was converted by Norman Mingay. When the Maori toured Australia in 1922, in the third NSW encounter, George McKay from Glebe-Balmain was injured in the first half, and Pigott came on as a replacement. This would be his sole international, as such matches were recognised as Tests by the ARU in 1986. It was a strong pack, including Derby Loudon, from his own club, Joe Thorn, John Holdsworth, Reg Ferguson, Tom Smith, Duncan Fowles and Tom Davis.

Pigott did play for the NSW Second XV against the 1922 Maori, scoring a try in the 18 to 27 loss. As Howell, et al, recorded: “Henry Pigott scored a consolation try for New South Wales on the stroke of time.” This ended his international career, playing one game as a replacement against the Maori in 1922. An academic, he took up a post at The King’s School in 1923, and assisted countless students in learning the fundamentals of rugby union.

Henry Robert Pigott