Rex Peers Mossop
- 369Wallaby Number
Rex Mossop was a tough, fiery and uncompromising lock forward who made his name in rugby before he accepted a lucrative contract to play rugby league in England. An outstanding line out exponent who possessed surprisingly good mobility for a big man, Mossop was raised in Balgowlah and attended Manly Boys High School. In 1939 Mossop began his football career in the Manly Juniors competition. He left school in 1943 to become an apprentice fitter and turner and the following year went straight from the juniors into Manly's first grade team aged just 16.
In 1946 Mossop enjoyed his first taste of senior representative rugby with City as well as the NSW 2nd XV however his big break did not arrive until 1949 when he debuted for New South Wales against Queensland. Despite his interstate displays, Mossop was overlooked for the home series against the Maori before he earned selection on the subsequent tour to New Zealand. Mossop made his Test debut at Athletic Park and was notably conspicuous in padded headgear after he acquired a second cauliflower ear in the match against Manawatu-Horowhenua. The press reported that Mossop ‘played an outstanding all-round game’ and in combination with Nick Shehadie ‘locked an effective scrum.’ Australia went on to claim the Bledisloe Cup for the first time since 1934 and Mossop, alongside fellow Wallabies Trevor Allan and Ralph Garner, was named by the New Zealand "Rugby Almanack" as one of the five players of the year. The Almanack wrote that Mossop gave ‘consistently outstanding displays on the tour and has improved tremendously.’
In early 1951 Mossop rejected a £2,500 offer to play rugby league in England. Sent-off for ‘rough play’ in the second interstate fixture, Mossop was suspended for two weeks before the Australian selectors named him at No.8 for the opening home test against the All Blacks. Prior to the second match of the series Mossop was again sent from the field, this time for striking, in a club game against Drummoyne. The NSWRU rubbed him out for a month and he missed the final two Tests. Late that same year Mossop announced he had signed a four-year, £5,000 contract with Leigh Rugby League Club in England. Mossop said, "It took me a long while to get around to making this decision, but I have had to think of my future. One of the facts influencing me is that my great pal Trevor Allan is also with Leigh Club. He will be able to help me and show me the ropes. Allan and I were the greatest pals on Rugby Union tours."
He returned to Australia in late 1954 and joined the Manly Seagulls. Mossop became a dual international in 1958 and went on to play a total of 12 Tests for the Kangaroos. After he retired Mossop became a successful and colourful television personality. Rex Mossop played five Tests for Australia in a three-year international career.
Mossop won his first Test cap at lock in partnership with Nick Shehadie for the 1st Test, 11-6 victory over New Zealand at Athletic Park. That same front row was retained for the 2nd Test, 16-9 win at Eden Park.
Mossop started at lock in both home Test losses to the British Lions.
In his final international Mossop was shifted to No.8 for the 1st Test, 0-8 loss to New Zealand in Sydney.