John Morgan Bosler
- 396Wallaby Number
John Bosler was a remarkable schoolboy athlete who had the misfortune for his representative career to coincide with those of two great Wallaby halves, Cyril Burke and Brian Cox.
A courageous and fine running halfback, Bosler attended Sydney Boys' High School where he played three years in the 1st XV (1948-50). In his final year Bosler captained the Combined High Schools XV and vice-captained the GPS 1st XV. He also played four years of 1st XI, won the School’s Sprint Cup in 10.2 seconds for the 100 yards and was second to future Olympic Games silver medallist Kevan Gosper in the CHS 220 yards.
In his first year out of school Bosler played one fourth grade game, made his First Grade debut for Eastern Suburbs just three days later, and was never again selected in a lower grade.
In 1952 he played for South Harbour against the touring Fijians and later that year made his debut for New South Wales against Queensland. Bosler was also runner-up in the Sydney Morning Herald “Best and Fairest” competition. The following year Cox broke a bone in his left ankle during a pre-competition training accident. When the break did not set correctly and was re-plastered, Cox was ruled out of contention for the second Wallaby tour South Africa. Bosler and Burke were named in the squad and it was Bosler who took the opportunity with both hands when he started the first seven major provincial matches. As a result it was Bosler who was named at halfback to make his debut in the opening Test at Ellis Park. Australia were humbled 3-25 as the ‘enormous pressure exerted by the Springbok pack and halves’ took its toll, particularly on the debutants. The selectors made five changes for Cape Town, three of which were in the backs, and Burke returned to start in the final three Tests of the series.
In 1954 injuries, particularly an inflammation of his arm that became septic, saw him step away from rugby. A year later Bosler switched codes to play rugby league for Eastern Suburbs.
John Bosler played one Test for Australia and will forever be Wallaby #396.
Bosler won his first Test cap at halfback alongside Murray Tate in the 1st Test, 3-25 loss to South Africa in Johannesburg.