Former England rugby winger Mike Slemen dies aged 69

LONDON (AP) — Mike Slemen, a former England rugby player who was part of the Grand Slam-winning team of 1980 and also toured South Africa with the British and Irish Lions that year, has died. He was 69.

England’s Rugby Football Union said Tuesday that Slemen died, without disclosing any more details.

Slemen played 31 times for England, with his last international match coming in 1984 — making him the country’s most-capped winger at the time. He retired in 1986.

Slemen’s running ability and change of pace were influential as England ended a 23-year wait for a Grand Slam in the Six Nations in 1980, under the captaincy of Bill Beaumont.

Ten of that England squad toured South Africa with the Lions that summer, again under Beaumont, and Slemen started the 26-22 loss in the first test in Cape Town.

“He was a great rugby player and a great all-round sportsman,” said Beaumont, who is chairman of World Rugby.

“He will be very much missed as someone whose generous spirit and outstanding athleticism graced our sport.”

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