Nigel Thomas Kassulke
- 649Wallaby Number
Nigel Kassulke was a fast and elusive outside centre with a good swerve and safe hands whose Wallaby career was cruelled by injury almost before it had started.
Born in Beaudesert, Kassulke was sent to Brisbane as a boarder at Marist College Ashgrove. He played in the 1978 1st XV premiership-winning team coached by Wallaby #518 and Ashgrove old boy, Barry Honan. In the college Year Book Honan wrote of Kassulke: ‘Nigel, having only his second year of rugby, proved to be a classic outside centre - he ran very fast and very hard onto the ball, never missed a tackle all season and could set his wingers up beautifully. Nigel was our most effective attacking three-quarter and narrowly won the best back award for 1978.’
Kassulke went on to represent Queensland U21s and then in 1982 played for Australian U21s alongside future fellow Wallabies including David Campese, Tom Lawton, Michael Lynagh and Steve Tuynman. He left Australia in 1984 to play in Durban, South Africa and returned home a better player for the experience. With Andrew Slack unavailable for selection in 1985 Kassulke made his debut for both Queensland, against New Zealand Counties, and then for Australia against Canada in Sydney. He held his spot for the second Test eight days later but tore the cruciate ligament in his knee just before half-time. As a consequence Kassulke missed the rest of that season and all of the next to effectively end his representative career. .
Represented Australian U21s when they defeated Fiji U21 47-4 at Ballymore.
Kassulke won his first Test cap at outside centre alongside fellow debutant Tim Lane in the 1st Test, 59-3 defeat of Canada at the S.C.G. He won a second cap, again in partnership with Lane, in the 2nd Test, 43-15 win at Ballymore.