John Francis O'Gorman

  • 88Age
  • 18Caps
  • 462Wallaby Number
PositionFlanker / No. 8
Date Of BirthJune 1, 1936
Place of BirthSydney
SchoolSt Joseph’s College, Hunters Hill
Debut ClubUniversity (Sydney)
Other ClubManly
Debut Test Match1961 Wallabies v Fiji, Brisbane
Final Test Match1967 Wallabies v Ireland, Sydney


John O'Gorman was part of the solid forward nucleus that carried Australia to some memorable Test wins in the 1960s. Tall and dexterous, O’Gorman was a fully committed, very skilled backrower who would undoubtedly have played more Tests for Australia had it not been for his medical studies.


Born in Sydney, O’Gorman was educated at St Joseph’s College, Hunters Hill where he played in the backs until immortal coach Brother Henry moved him to No.8 in his second and final year in the school’s 1st XV (1953-54). He enrolled to study medicine and play club rugby at the University of Sydney. Studies occupied much of his time and O’Gorman was a mature forward, 24 years of age, when he made this senior representative debut for New South Wales against Queensland in 1961. Two months later he was selected to make his Test debut against Fiji in Brisbane and was then chosen for his first Wallaby tour to South Africa.


O’Gorman played in all six matches and returned home a much better player for the experience. In 1962 he made his only appearance against the All Blacks and gave a sterling display after being introduced to put more starch into the pack following an insipid 1st Test, 6-20 defeat.


O’Gorman returned to South Africa in 1963 and was both a workhorse and a star. He played 15 of the 24 matches, including all four Tests, and was one of the rocks on which this team's successful foundation was built. 


Two career highlights were to follow - in 1965, O’Gorman played both Tests when Australia defeated South Africa in a series for the first time and then in 1966/67 he played all five Tests on the Fifth Wallabies tour to the British Isles, Ireland, France and Canada.


John O’Gorman played 17 Tests for Australia in a seven-year international career.






O’Gorman won his first Test cap at No.8 in the 1st Test, 24-6 victory over Fiji in Brisbane. He moved to the flank when Rob Heming was picked at the back of the scrum for the two away Tests against South Africa and the 8-15 loss to France at the S.C.G.




O’Gorman played on the flank in the 2nd Test, 5-14 loss to New Zealand in Sydney but missed the return tour several months later due to his medical studies. 




He started at No.8 in combination with Greg Davis and Ted Heinrich in the 18-9 victory over England at the Sydney Sports Ground.  That same backrow played in the 1st Test, 3-14 loss to South Africa in Pretoria. Jules Guerassimoff replaced Heinrich for the final three Tests of that away series. 




O’Gorman was capped on the flank in the two home victories over South Africa. 




He played at No.8 in all five Tests on the Fifth Wallabies, against Wales, Scotland, England, Ireland and France.




In his final season of international rugby, O’Gorman, Davis and Hugh Rose formed the backrow in the 5-11 loss to Ireland in Sydney. 

John Francis O'Gorman