Full name John O'Donnell
Born circa 1877
Died circa 1956
Major teams Australia
Relations Brother - IC O'Donnell
|Only Test||Australia v Great Britain at Sydney, Aug 12, 1899 match details|
|Test Statsguru||Main menu | Career summary | Match list|
John ("Jack") O'Donnell, who appeared for Australia as a forward against the 1899 British/Irish side, was a member of a well-known rugby-playing family. He and his brother Ignatius ("Iggy") were old boys of St Ignatius' College, Riverview, members of the city's famous Wallaroos Rugby Club and played together in the final Test of Australia's first-ever series with the Lions.
The Wallaroos club lost its status when Sydney club rugby was reorganised in 1900. Henceforth players were compelled to appear for their local district and the O'Donnells, residing in the catchment area for North Sydney (later re-branded as Northern Suburbs), became stalwarts of the new club.
Jack was plucked from relative obscurity to play in the 1899 Test against the Lions. He was a rookie in his early twenties and had never appeared in a state match when he packed down against the tourists. His state debut came the year later and he went on to make 25 appearances for New South Wales, including three against David Bedell-Sivright's British/Irish side in 1904. He captained both Norths and NSW, but never again appeared in a Test.
Jack O'Donnell died in 1956, aged 79.