Harry Wilson might be Gunnedah's first Wallaby but he isn't the first player to face the might of the All Blacks.
On June 5, 1957, just 12 months after reforming and joining the New England competition, the Gunnedah Rugby Club was awarded the privilege of hosting a match between New England and the touring New Zealanders.
Three Gunnedah players were lucky enough to get the call-up for the game, which was played at Kitchener Park, with breakaway John Heath and prop Ian Gavel packing down in the forwards and five-eighth Stan Hunt coming off the bench.
Heath whose father Ron was the president of the club at the time and was instrumental in bringing the game to Gunnedah, had the Saturday previous become the first Red Devils player to gain representative honours in the modern era of the club when he suited up for the NSW colts.
The Kiwis had the previous year been recognised as the undisputed world champions but the Lions put up a good fight with the game, as reported by the local paper (then the Gunnedah Independent Advertiser) far from the mismatch many pundits had predicted.
While they did inevitably go down, 38-14, the side led by Walcha lock Peter Fenwicke, recorded the highest score against the tourists at that point on the tour and also had the distinction of scoring the first try outside of a Test match. That honour went to Teacher's College winger D Toohey.
The Kiwi side included the likes of legendary fullback Don Clarke, All Blacks great Colin Meads and a then 21-year old newly-capped Wilson Whineray. The prop is widely acclaimed to be one of the All Blacks' greatest captains and was their longest-serving before being surpassed by Richie McCaw in 2014.
In his book on the history of Gunnedah rugby, Don McDonagh wrote that a "half-day holiday was declared in the town and the locals took advantage of the opportunity to see the best the game had to offer" with a crowd of 3500 fans packing the ground.
The three-day visit was a great boost for the town, and the touring party were all billeted out with local players, officials and supporters.
For McDonagh one of his fondest memories is helping Clarke, who was regarded as greatest goalkicker in world rugby at the time, with his practice session prior to the match.
"We were kicking at Kitchener Park and Clarke used to place the ball upright," McDonagh recounted in his book.
"He stood one up, took a few paces back and the ball landed in the middle of Conadilly Street."
Another memory is the panic when the money briefly went missing after the game.
"Peter Hunt and myself had made arrangements to take the money from the gate to the bank," he recalled.
"We put the takings into Peter's car only to have his boss, Howard Halstead drive off with the money.
"Of course we panicked and had the police, the All Blacks and the New England team walking the streets trying to find the missing car... of course it eventually turned up."
NEW ENGLAND TEAM: Fullback - B Hawkins (Teacher's College); Wingers - D Toohey (Teacher's College), F Widdis (Quirindi); Centres - K Kerr (Tamworth), T Jackson (Tamworth Country); Halves - D Moore (Guyra), W Hayes (Tamworth); Forwards - P Fenwicke (Walcha) capt, J Heath (Gunnedah), A Morse (Armidale), R White (Guyra), A Thompson (Armidale), J Stones (Tamworth), I Gavel (Gunnedah), T Considine (University); Reserves - S Hunt (Gunnedah), A Laurie (Walcha), L Quinn (Armidale).