The Australian rugby community mourns the loss of 1966/67 Wallaby tourist Richard ‘Dick’ Taylor, who passed away last Thursday.

Born in Ryde, NSW, Dick attended Ryde Public School and then Drummoyne Boys’ High School.

After playing two seasons in the Eastwood Juniors in the Metropolitan competition, he joined the Eastwood District Rugby Club in 1961.

Taylor was one of three Taylor brothers who played over 600 games with the Eastwood Club, being Barry (360 games) and Ken (150 games). The three brothers made history for the Club when they formed the entire front row in a grade match in 1963. Originally a breakaway, Dick was switched to the hooking position by former Wallaby Jim Brown, who coached the Eastwood team in 1963. Dick was a regular first grader and was to be captain of Eastwood’s first grade team to play in a Sydney Grand Final in 1966.

Following representation for North Harbour, City, Sydney, and NSW teams, Dick played in all the Wallaby trials leading up to the selection of the 1966/7 Wallaby touring team. Considered unlucky to miss the original selection, he was invited to join the tour after Ross Cullen was sent home after the second tour match. Taylor played thirteen matches on the tour and returned to play one more season with the Eastwood Club before switching codes to join the Sydney-based Newtown Rugby League Club in 1969.

Dick is survived by his wife Pam, son Ashley, daughter Nicole, and seven grandchildren.

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