Kerry Kelsall Larkin
- 444Wallaby Number
Kerry Larkin was an incredibly versatile forward who represented Queensland as a flanker, a prop on both sides of the scrum and a hooker before he attained national honours in the late 1950s.
Born in Brisbane, Larkin was educated at Anglican Church Grammar School, where he played two years in the 1st XV, and as captain in 1953, captained the school and represented the GPS 1st XV. Larkin graduated with academic honours and entered the University of Queensland Medical College.
He played his club rugby for the University as a front row forward and from there earned a representative debut for Queensland against New South Wales in 1955, oddly in his schoolboy day’s position at No.8.
He returned to hooker when the Springboks and All Blacks toured in 1956 and 1957 respectively but was overlooked for the Fourth Wallabies tour when just three Queensland players won selection, the lowest total ever for a long tour.
In 1958, Larkin moved to prop and played for his state against the Maori. While Larkin was not chosen for the first Test in Brisbane, captain and tighthead prop Bob Davidson was among eight changes for the second Test. As a consequence Larkin was called in for his international debut in Sydney. He retained his spot for the third and final Test but was unavailable for the tour to New Zealand due to his medical studies. Larkin shifted his focus back to hooker for the 1959 season but found himself in a head-to-head contest with Peter Johnson. Larkin broke his collarbone in Queensland’s loss to the Lions and Johnson went on to play 37 consecutive Tests.
Larkin won his first Test cap at prop alongside Ron Meadows and Geoff Vaughan in the 3-3 draw with the Maori at the S.C.G. That frontrow trio were retained for the 6-13, 3rd Test loss in Melbourne.