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Got to pick both the ALL BLACKS & WALLABIES (But only played for one)

fredmastersBig Fred Masters – like fellow All Black, Buller back rower Tom Fisher – came from Brunnertown outside Greymouth.

Masters has a unique place in international rugby history. He was a selector for both the All Blacks and the Wallabies – the only man to have helped pick both national teams.

Masters left the West Coast with his family at a young age and grew up in Stratford in the Taranaki.

He played rugby there and in Auckland, won a Military Medal at Messines in World War I and returned to Stratford.

From there he was selected to play for the All Blacks on their Australian tour in 1922.

He became an All Black selector for the home Test series against the Wallabies in 1936.

In 1938 Masters moved to Sydney and coached Sydney Grammar School and Sydney University.

In 1946 he became a NSW and Wallaby selector.

He helped pick the Australian team which toured New Zealand in 1946 and the Wallaby teams for the Test series against the All Blacks in Australia in 1947.

By Robert Messenger


 Harold Masters – Profile from All Blacks.com

Harold Masters was a barrel-chested forward who at a hefty 97kgs was well suited to playing lock in the old 2-3-2 scrum formation.He was a sturdy, no nonsense sort of player of a type which has become pretty much a Taranaki trademark over the years. Masters entered Taranaki and Auckland club rugby as a young man but his introduction to first class rugby was delayed by the outbreak of World War I. He served with The Main Body and won the Military Medal at Messines.He was 24 when he played for Taranaki for the first time in 1919 and up until 1922 played 27 matches for the province. That tally included Ranfurly Shield challenges against Wellington (one in 1919 and two in 1920) and in the scoreless draw against the touring Springboks in 1921.He was a North Island player in 1919 and played in one of the All Black trials in 1921. After a second appearance for the North Island in 1922 he was in the All Black team which toured Australia.

His first match was in the warmup before departure against Wairarapa and in Australia he played once against New South Wales and once against the NSW second XV. On the return to New Zealand he had his last match against a Manawatu-Wellington combined XV.

Masters worked as a pharmacist and in his family’s hardware business. A man of considerable intelligence and judgement, he served as a Taranaki selector through the 1930s and in 1936-37 was on the national selection panel.

In 1938 he moved to take up a business appointment in Australia, where he gained the rare distinction of being a national selector for two countries. He served NSW and Australian selection panels in 1946-47.

That, though, has not become quite the rarity it once was with the evolution of the game and the modern move to professionalism. As has been shown by John Mitchell, Steve Hansen and Graham Henry it is now not uncommon for coaches to be involved with more than one international team.

Profile by Lindsay Knight
for the New Zealand Rugby Museum.

FULL NAME Frederick Harold Masters
BORN Friday, 20 December 1895 in Brunnerton
DIED Tuesday, 27 May 1980 in Sydney, Australia
PHYSICAL 97kg
POSITION Lock
LAST SCHOOL Stratford High
RUGBY CLUB
(First made All Blacks from)
Stratford
PROVINCE Taranaki
ALL BLACK DEBUT Wednesday, 19 July 1922
v Wairarapa at Carterton
aged 26 years, 211 days
ALL BLACK TESTS 0
ALL BLACK GAMES 4
TOTAL ALL BLACK MATCHES 4
ALL BLACK GAME POINTS 0pts
TOTAL ALL BLACK POINTS 0pts
ALL BLACK NUMBER 254
ALL BLACK GAMES THAT MASTERS PLAYED

(+) = substitute; (-) = replaced

1922
19 Jul vs Wairarapa at Carterton 12-11
29 Jul vs N.S.W. at Sydney 26-19
9 Aug vs N.S.W. 2nd XV at Sydney 56-19
16 Aug vs Manawatu-Wellington XV at Palmerston North 45-11
Masters did not score any points for the All Blacks.

Masters played in no test matches for the All Blacks.

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