Bill Hardcastle

Bill Hardcastle

Rugby Biography
Rugby Biography Less

Bill Hardcastle

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William Robert "Bill" Hardcastle (30 August 1874 – 11 July 1944) born in Wellington, New Zealand was a pioneer New Zealand and Australian rugby union player and an Australian rugby league player. He represented both countries in union and Australia in league. He was one of the first dual-code rugby internationals.

Rugby union career

Hardcastle commenced his club rugby in New Zealand with Petone and represented for Wellington from 1895 to 1897. He joined the Melrose club in 1897 and was selected in a North Island representative side from where he was selected for the All Blacks 1897 tour of Australia he played in seven tour matches but no Tests. He journeyed to Sydney in 1899 on hearing that the visiting British and Irish Lions would be not be travelling any further than Sydney. Australian rugby in those days had no residential rules and once they took the field with a Sydney club, players qualified as Australians for possible national selection.

He played for the Glebe rugby union club in Sydney from where he was chosen to play as flanker for the Australian representative team in the fourth test of 1899 against the first British side to tour Australia, at Sydney, on 12 August. He also played for Australia in 1903 in Sydney against New Zealand in the first official rugby union international between the countries.

Rugby league career

He became an early convert to the fledgling league code and played for the Ipswich club in Queensland. He was selected in the 2nd...
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