John Lawson Shute
- 165Wallaby Number
‘Jackie’ Shute played for Western Suburbs in Sydney and was a winger. His first representative game was against the 1920 New Zealand team. Australian rugby was in disarray at the time, as the game had ceased in Australia because of World War 1. The AIF team returned to Australia and played eight matches in 1919, and this stimulated interest in the game. The NSWRU made an urgent plea to New Zealand to send a team in 1920, and an annual exchange of tours was agreed upon. Queensland did not play rugby from 1919 to 1929, so in 1986 the ARU decided that these NSW games could be counted as Australian representative matches.
Shute did not play for NSW on this 1920 tour, but went up against the All Blacks when he was picked for the Metropolitan Union team. The great Larry Wogan was in the centre and Tom Davis was in the pack. They were also from Western Suburbs. The New Zealanders triumphed in a hard-fought game by 20 to 11. His was a solid introduction. He was also picked for a NSW Second XV that lost by 31 to18. He would only have been 19- years- of -age at the time. Somewhat as a surprise was his selection in the third and final NSW match (now a Test). New Zealand won handily 24 to 13. He actually played against the All Blacks three times in a week.
The team at the Sydney Sports Ground on that day, 7 August 1920, was Jackie Beith Jackie Shute, Larry Wogan, Roy Chambers, Arthur Mayne, Oney Humphreys, Norman Mingay, Bob Marrott, Viv Dunn, Irv Ormiston, Charlie Fox, Watty Friend, Willie Watson (capt.), John Bond and Tom Davis. There was a second Metropolitan Union game, and he was again selected. It was a 79 to 5 landslide. Still, Shute had gained invaluable experience, particularly against noted All Black winger Jack Steel. South Africa came to Australia early on in 1921, but Shute was kept out of the games through the brilliance of ‘Pup’ Raymond and Edwin Carr. Despite this, he was picked in the NSW team that toured New Zealand in 1921. Shute was injured, and played in only one match, the last one, against Wellington. There were ten tour matches, so it was a big disappointment for the stocky winger.
In 1922 the New Zealand Maori came to Australia, led by Harry Jacob. Jackie did not play in the first NSW game, the wingers being ‘Cocky’ Mayne and “Pup’ Raymond. However he was in the return match, replacing Mayne. Howell, et al, noted in They Came To Conquer:“A Maori mistake saw Cooney gather and score, by which time the game was safe for New South Wales.” The locals won by 28 to 13. There was one other game against NSW (these games now counting as Tests in Australia) and Shute and Raymond were the wings.
The Maori won a close and exciting match 23 to 22. This match was played at Sydney University Oval. Howell, et al, noted:”Otto Nothling added to the advantage by landing a drop goal and just on halftime registered its fourth try when Jackie Shute gathered a fumble by Rangi Akuira and scored for Stanley to convert.” This marked the end of Jackie Shute’s representative career, an honourable one with three Tests and one non-Test. Like so many others he died without knowing he had played Tests.