England rugby great David Duckham dies at age 76

LONDON (AP) — David Duckham, the England rugby great who also starred for the British and Irish Lions, especially in the triumphant 1971 series in New Zealand, has died. He was 76.

Duckham’s death was announced by his former club Coventry as well as the Lions on Tuesday.

“David Duckham was not only one of the greatest and most talented of English players,” said Nigel Gillingham, president of England’s Rugby Football Union, “but also a player so greatly admired around the world.”

Duckham won 36 caps for England from 1969-76, initially as a center before going on to make his mark as a dynamic winger who brought flair to an otherwise conservative team.

He retired as the country’s second all-time highest tryscorer, behind Cyril Low, with 10.

The Lions tour of New Zealand provided a better platform for Duckham to demonstrate his brilliance, playing in three of the four matches in the test series.

In a midweek game against West Coast/Buller, he scored six tries and he finished the tour with 11 tries in 16 appearances.

His mesmerizing contribution to the invitational Barbarians’ famous 23-11 victory over the All Blacks at Cardiff Arms Park in 1973 earned him the nickname “Dai” — Welsh for David — from Wales fans in appreciation of his entertaining style.

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