MacBride was youthful three-quarter who shot to prominence as Test Rugby resumed after World War II. A compact but fast and physically strong ball runner, his preferred position was inside centre although eight of his 10 Test caps came on the wing.
Born in Sydney, he attended Scots College and later the University of Sydney where he played for the 1st XV rugby and cricket sides and was a Combined GPS representative in rugby.
Whilst studying medicine, his performances in the 1946 season with University earned him selection for the NSW tour of Queensland. Initially he declined the tour but was urged to play in the NSW selection trial in order to gain representative experience.
It was there that the then-19-year-old impressed so much that he was selected for the impending Wallabies tour of New Zealand.
With four tries in the first five tour matches, MacBride was labelled the early find of the tour and was named to debut in the opening Test at Dunedin, where he became Australia’s 331st Test player.
Ironically, the much-feted trip to New Zealand cost the young player a pass mark in first-year medicine so he walked away from the course and the University rugby club to join Eastern Suburbs.
After playing all three Tests in New Zealand, two caps at home against the All Blacks were followed by selection on the third Wallabies tour to the UK.
On that tour he played on the wing in all five Tests – against Scotland, Ireland, Wales, England and France – but didn’t add to his one Test try, scored against New Zealand in Auckland.
He earnt two NSW caps – playing both fixtures against the All Blacks – notching a win and a loss during the Kiwis Australian tour.
Upon returning home, MacBride looked set to retire after suffering a leg injury, but he recovered to play one final season in Sydney with Eastern Suburbs before formally ending his three-year international career.
MacBride became an Honourary Life Member of NSWRU in 1995 for his contribution to the game for several decades – including a role as Wallaby selector and a long-standing involvement at Easts as their Treasurer.
He was honoured by Eastern Suburbs for that service with Life Membership, and was also named in their Team of the Century.
A memorial service and celebratory drinks will be held at Easts Rugby Club at 11am Tuesday 3 September.