Former All Black Wally Argus mourned by New Zealand Rugby
allblacks.com 22 Oct 2016 allblacks.com
Walter Garland Argus, better known as Wally, was born on 29 May 1921 in Auckland. A sparkling winger, Argus made his All Blacks debut in 1946 after returning from the incredible 1945-46 tour of the 2nd New Zealand Expeditionary Force (NZEF) army team, which made history as "the Kiwis".
"It is with great sadness that we mark the passing of Wally Argus," said New Zealand Rugby Chairman Brent Impey.
“Wally will be fondly remembered around New Zealand, and in particular by the Canterbury rugby community of which he was a part for such a long time. He was one of a special group of players that represented his country both in rugby and in the military - two parts of his life that combined when he starred for the Kiwis army team in 1945-46 – and he remained a keen supporter of rugby all his life. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this sad time.”
Argus attended high school in South Canterbury and represented the Mackenzie sub-union 1938-39 before shifting to Canterbury, where he debuted in 1941. He played two seasons for the red and blacks before serving in North Africa and Italy with the New Zealand Army during the Second World War. Following his service, he was nominated for inclusion in the 2nd NZEF team. Argus played in 17 matches for that side.
In 1946, Argus earned All Blacks selection for the first time, making his debut against Australia at Carisbrook in Dunedin. He went on to play 10 matches for the All Blacks in 1946 and 1947, including four Tests and scored an impressive 14 tries – five of which came against the ACT side at Manuka Oval. He was selected for the 1949 tour of South Africa, but was had to withdraw, and injury also prevented him from playing the Wallabies that year.
Away from rugby, Argus was involved with a number of businesses, including market gardening and meat processing and was active in Christchurch as a mentor. He remained a passionate rugby supporter for the rest of his life.
Argus received his All Blacks cap in 2009 in Christchurch, when New Zealand Rugby retrospectively presented caps to All Blacks who had made their Test debuts between 1946 and 1996. His passing was marked with a moment's silence before the All Blacks played Australia at Eden Park on Saturday 22 October.
For more information, view his profile on stats.allblacks.com.