John Hugh (‘Jack’) Carroll
- 442Wallaby Number
‘Jack’ Carroll was a lanky, robust, highly mobile lock forward who came to the fore in 1958 with the unavailability of many Wallabies who had returned from an arduous Fourth Wallabies tour to the U.K. A pacy lineout specialist and a strong scrummager, Carroll looked set for a long representative career before injury ended his aspirations.
Born in Sydney, Carroll learned his rugby at Newington College. After school, Carroll came up through the juniors in Mosman and continued on through the Kentwell Cup competition to play his club rugby for Northern Suburbs.
Carroll had a breakthrough year in 1958 when several fine early season displays for Norths saw him earn a debut for New South Wales against the Maori. A standout performance from Carroll was rewarded with a Test debut in Sydney as one of a staggering eight changes from the side that had won the opening international. Later in the season, Carroll was chosen for his first Wallaby tour, to New Zealand. Carroll was played as a lock on the tour and started all three Test matches where he excelled in the lineouts and in the open.
In the 2nd Test at Lancaster Park the All Blacks struggled against a fired-up Wallabies who had been humbled 3-25 at Athletic Park. A stunned Christchurch crowd witnessed one of the biggest shocks in Test rugby of that time. The forwards, led by the impressive tight five, outplayed their more highly rated opponents as they disabled the All Blacks’ key attacking weapon, a sound set piece. The Wallaby defence was a vast improvement than it had been at Wellington and All Black over-confidence was gradually replaced with something akin to panic. Australia grew throughout the match and thoroughly deserved their 6-3 victory.
In 1960 Norths won the Shute Shield but did so without Carroll who had suffered a bad knee injury, one which forced him to retire at just 24 years of age and concentrate on his career as a wool-buyer.
‘Jack’ Carroll played seven Tests for Australia in a two-year international career.
Carroll won his first Test cap at No.8 alongside John Thornett and Jack Pashley in the 2nd Test, 3-3 draw with the Maori at the S.C.G. That backrow trio were retained for the 3rd Test, 6-13 loss in Melbourne. Carroll partnered with Jon White in the middle row for each of the three away Tests against New Zealand. He scored his first Test try in the 3rd Test, 8-17 loss in Auckland.
Carroll was paired with ‘Slaggy’ Miller in the second row for both home losses to the British Lions.