Willie Duggan: Ireland rugby great dies at age of 67

Duggan, a four-time Lion during the 1977 tour to New Zealand, won 41 caps over a nine-year global career spanning 1975-1984. Smoking, drinking, not training too often – Willie Duggan.

Former No 8 Duggan passed away on Monday aged 67, leading to a wave of tributes.

“Our thoughts & prayers are with his family & friends”.

And Leinster Rugby CEO Mick Dawson, who knew Duggan personally, paid this tribute to the great No. 8 upon hearing the news.

IRFU President Philip Orr, a long time team mate of Duggan, said “It is with great sadness that I, and indeed the rugby family throughout Ireland and the World, learnt of the death of Willie Duggan“. May he rest in peace.

Duggan was seen as one of the finest No. 8s in the game, playing in all four tests on the British and Irish Lions tour to New Zealand in 1977.

“Ar dheis De go raibh a anam (May his soul be at God’s right hand)”.

Duggan finished his career in 1984 as Ireland captain and worked in Kilkenny where he ran the lighting shop that he took over from his father.

He remained a huge supporter of the game and was one of the most revered and loved rugby players in the history of Irish sport.

Scottish referee Norman Samson dismissed the pair after they had come to blows at a line-out during the match at Cardiff Arms Park.

“I knew Willie personally and he was a larger than life character and it’s very hard news to digest this morning”, he said.

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