The Australian Rugby community is saddened by the passing of former Wallabies prop John ‘Jake’ Howard, who passed away suddenly on Friday aged 70. 

Born in 1945 in Bexley, NSW, Howard attended one of Sydney’s traditional Rugby nurseries, St Joseph’s College Hunters Hill.

Making his Test debut at age 24 against Scotland at the SCG in 1970, Howard went on to represent the Wallabies on seven occasions from 1970-73 including Tests against New Zealand, South Africa, Wales, France and Tonga.

Playing in his usual position of tighthead prop he earned the nickname “Tractor” for his powerful scrummaging and mechanical running style.

After his playing days Howard continued his passion for Rugby through Coaching where he forged an excellent reputation.

He was called upon as an Assistant Coach of the Wallabies and enjoyed several successful Coaching stints overseas in England, France, Japan and the United States.

Outside of Rugby, Howard was described by those closest to him as a “teacher, philosopher and life coach” and created his own Rugby lineage through his son, Pat Howard, who would follow in his father’s footsteps to represent Australia.

A passionate resident of the Queensland Sunshine Coast, Jake volunteered much of his time in teaching children with disabilities alongside his wife, Marguerite.

ARU CEO Bill Pulver offered his condolences to the Howard family: “On behalf of the Australian Rugby community I extend our deepest sympathies to the Howard family during this difficult time.

“Jake was a very popular Rugby man and devoted his life to the game and to teaching others. He was a great player in his own right, but is arguably better known for his contribution to the game after his playing days.

“He was an entertaining character and had a natural gift for storytelling, he was a true gentleman.”

Mr Howard is survived by his wife Marguerite, sons Patrick, Tom and David, daughter Katherine, and six Grandchildren.

Jake Howard’s Funeral is to be held on Friday 18th December at 11am, at St Joseph’s, 41 The Drive, Bardon. Followed by a wake at 21 Morgan Tce, Bardon.