Rugby legend Willie Duggan passes away aged 67

Rugby legend Willie Duggan passes away aged 67”

Duggan, considered one of Ireland's greatest players, made 41 appearances for his country at number eight between 1975 and 1984. "To his wife Ellen, his children Willie Jnr., Helena and Monica and to his extended family on behalf of myself, and all involved with Irish Rugby, I extend our deepest sympathies".

He was subsequently selected in the British and Irish Lions squad for the tour to New Zealand in 1977.

Leinster Rugby released the news on Twitter after Duggan passed away following a suspected heart attack at his home in Dunmore, Co Kilkenny.

The sudden death of Kilkenny man and rugby legend Willie Duggan aged 67 has left many in Kilkenny and in the wider rugby community in shock and sadness.

Donal Lenihan has described Willie Duggan as an icon of Irish rugby, "an outstanding player, an outstanding person" and an enormous influence on the sides he graced. May he rest in peace. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.

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.

Paying tribute to his former adversary, Wheel said: "I don't know what he got sent off for but they ended up losing their best player and we won the game easily enough".

Off the field Willie was truly a character, lighting up dressing rooms and after match gatherings with his own colourful, absolutely unique and vibrant wit.

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