John Leslie Patrick Howard
- 534Wallaby Number
‘Jake’ Howard belonged to one of Australian rugby’s mini-dynasties. Howard’s father-in-law, the famous Cyril Towers (Wallaby #230) played 19 Tests and his son Pat (Wallaby #705) played 20 Tests. ‘Jake’ was a powerful scrummaging prop forward with a lumbering albeit extremely effective mechanical running style.
His game was built around bulk and strength. Born in Sydney, Howard was educated at St Joseph’s College, Hunters Hill, one of Australia’s greatest rugby nurseries. Rather incredibly he played four successive years (1960-63) in the school’s coveted 1st XV and was captain in his final year.
Howard played his club football for the University of Sydney however like many front row forwards he served an extended apprenticeship before achieving higher honours.
In 1969 Howard made his representative debut for Sydney against Victoria and, without having played a single match for New South Wales, won a place on the Wallaby tour to South Africa. He played in 13 of the 26 matches and although he did not earn a run in any of the four Tests the experience gained proved invaluable.
A year later he played his first matches for New South Wales, one of which was the 28-14 victory over Scotland, and his form earned him a Test debut in the one-off international in Sydney. Howard went on to be capped against South Africa, France, New Zealand, Tonga and Wales.
He toured to both New Zealand and France, and while neither were deemed successful in terms of results, the lessons Howard learned, coupled with those from South Africa in 1969, served him particularly well in his post-playing years as a coach.
Jake Howard played seven Tests for Australia in a four-year international career.
Howard won his first Test cap at prop alongside Peter Johnson and Jim Roxburgh in the 23-3 victory over Scotland at the S.C.G.
Howard played in the front row with Johnson and Roy Prosser in the 11-19 loss to South Africa in Sydney.
He earned two caps, the first off the bench when he replaced David Dunworth in the 14-14, 1st Test draw with France at the S.C.G., and the second when he started in combination with Mick Freney and Prosser in the 17-30, 2nd Test loss to New Zealand at Lancaster Park.
Howard picked up his final three caps in the two home Tests against Tonga and the 0-24 defeat to Wales at Cardiff Arms Park.