John Hawkes Malone
- 297Wallaby Number
Jack ‘Steak’ Malone was an imposing front-row forward and yet another fine product of Australia’s greatest rugby nursery, St Joseph’s College, Hunters Hill. He acquired the nickname ‘Steak’ because his monstrous hands resembled succulent T-bones.
Born and bred in Sydney, Malone graduated from Joeys to the Drummoyne rugby club in 1931 where he commenced his front-row apprenticeship in the lower grades. Three years later Malone was handed a first grade debut against Randwick and he clearly prospered from the experience.
In 1935 ‘a patch of first class form’ earned him a state debut against Queensland however expectations that he would make a ‘bold bid for further honours later in the season’ went unrealised. A string of strong performances in early 1936 saw Malone invited to tour New Zealand with the Wallabies and he went on to make his Test debut in Wellington. The following year Malone ‘excelled in the his continual presence in the close rucks’ as New South Wales upset the Springboks 17-6 on a flooded S.C.G. Despite wide-ranging calls for the entire Waratah XV to be picked for the 1st Test, Malone was one of four players who missed selection to rival from Queensland.
In 1938 Malone strengthened his claims with a consistency of performance that had him earmarked as a certainty for the home series against New Zealand. Unfortunately he suffered an injury to his instep at a training session ahead of the first Test, withdrew and was ruled out for the rest of the series. A year later Malone captained New South Wales in the last of his 18 state matches before he was one of five props selected on the Second Wallabies’ tour to Great Britain. Much to their dismay England declared war with Germany two days after the team arrived at Plymouth and the tour was abandoned. Upon his return to Australia Malone formally retired and later enlisted in the RAAF where he served in aircrew in both Italy and the Pacific. Tragically he died in a motorcycle accident near Katoomba aged just 34.
Malone won his first Test cap at prop, in a front three that included Eddie Bonis and captain Ron Walden, in the 1st Test, 6-11 loss to New Zealand in Wellington. That front-row retained their positions for the 2nd Test, 13-8 defeat at Crisbrook. Malone earned a third cap in the 31-6 victory over the Maori in Palmerston North.
He started at prop in the 2nd Test, 17-26 loss to South Africa at the S.C.G.