John Reginald Cornes
- 556Wallaby Number
John Cornes was a New Zealand-born halfback who endured a tough tour of his homeland with the 1972 Wallabies.
Born in the Waikato region at Cambridge, Cornes was educated at Kurinui College, Greytown.
He deputised to Mick Barry at Queensland but earned a debut against Fiji in 1969 when the Wallabies were on tour in South Africa. In 1972 Cornes enjoyed such a fine club season in Brisbane that he won the year’s Best and Fairest award without playing the last five rounds. When John Hipwell dislocated his left collarbone in a club match and withdrew from the tour to New Zealand, Cornes was promoted into the national squad and played in four provincial games. While he did not play in the Bledisloe Cup Tests Cornes was selected to make his international debut against Fiji in Suva. Unfortunately he was injured and forced from the field early in the second half after he came off second best when crunched in a tackle by winger Vuniani Varo.
John Cornes played one Test for Australia and will forever be Wallaby #556.
Cornes won his first Test cap at halfback alongside Geoff Richardson in the 21-19 victory over Fiji in Suva.