John Inglis Taylor
- 539Wallaby Number
John Taylor was a pacy winger who had an eventful introduction to international rugby when chosen to debut during the controversial 1971 Springbok tour of Australia.
Born in Wollongong, Taylor attended Hurlstone Agricultural High School and from there played his club rugby for the University of Sydney.
His first shot at representative rugby arrived in 1971 when chosen for Sydney against Victoria. Taylor scored two tries to win himself a first New South Wales jersey, against Queensland. He then played for both Sydney and NSW against South Africa before an injury to incumbent left winger Rod Batterham in the second of those matches opened the door for Taylor to make his Test debut at the S.C.G. The match was described as ‘exciting, close and an often spectacular game of rugby’. Unfortunately it competed with the bedlam created by an army of anti-apartheid demonstrators. There was incessant noise for a long period before play had even commenced and it continued for the entirely of the Test. However, unlike the quite unbelievable scenes a week earlier in the state game, there was just a single smoke bomb released. Taylor did not play in either of the final two matches in that series but later in the year was awarded a University Blue.
In 1972 he was chosen for his first Wallaby tour, to New Zealand, however John Cole and Jeff McLean were the preferred wing pair in each of the three Bledisloe Tests. The following year Taylor graduated with a degree in Veterinary Science and he then proceeded to follow in the footsteps of his father Robert, who himself was a pioneer of private veterinary practice in country New South Wales.
Taylor won his first Test cap on the left wing in the 1st Test, 11-19 loss to South Africa in Sydney.
Taylor played in both home Tests against France. He scored his first Test try in the 1st Test, 14-14 draw at the S.C.G. He earned a fourth career cap when he played on the wing in the 21-19 victory over Fiji in Suva.