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John Dawes dead at 80: Former Wales and Lions captain passes away after battle with illness as rugby world pays tribute

05

WALES rugby legend John Dawes has died aged 80.

Dawes enjoyed an illustrious career in the game, earning 22 caps for his country and leading Wales to a Grand Slam in 1971.

Hulton Archive - Getty
Welsh rugby legend John Dawes has sadly passed away aged 80[/caption]
Getty
John Dawes coached Wales to two Grand Slams[/caption]

He captained the Dragons on six occasions while also captaining the British and Irish Lions of their 1971 tour of New Zealand.

A statement released from the Welsh Rugby Union read: “It is with great sadness that we learnt today of the passing of Wales, @lionsofficial, @newbridgerfc, @LondonWelshRFC and @Barbarian_FC legend John Dawes.”

The Lions tweeted: “We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Lion #487 John Dawes.

“Captain of the Lions on the 1971 Tour, the only Lions side to win a series in New Zealand, Dawes made 19 appearances for the Lions.

“A true legend of the game, John will be sorely missed.”

Dawes would also go on to coach the Welsh national side after hanging up his boots in 1974.

During his five years in charge, Wales celebrated one of the most successful eras in their history with Dawes guiding them to four Five Nations titles and two Grand Slams.

Dawes also played for Newbridge RFC, London Welsh RFC and the Barbarians.

PA
John Dawes made 19 appearances for the British and Irish Lions[/caption]
Getty
John Dawes captained Wales on six occasions[/caption]

He also captained the Barbarians in their 1973 win over New Zealand.

Newbridge broke the news of passing with the statement: “After a period of ill health, John Dawes sadly passed away this morning.

“Everyone associated with our game will be aware of John’s story and his great achievements.

“His venture into senior rugby started with us here at the Welfare Ground.

“The heartfelt condolences of everyone at Newbridge RFC go out to John’s family at this very sad time.”

Tributes have poured in following the news including from former Wales player Mark Ring who wrote: “Awfully sad news to hear of the passing of John Dawes.

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John Dawes, centre, receives his induction to the Hall of Fame[/caption]
Rex
Dawes led Wales to the Five Nations Grand Slam in 1971[/caption]

“A brilliant Rugby man who knew the game inside out. Always enjoyed a chat about the game with him and he seemed to have time for everyone. RIP.”

Rugby’s world governing body added: “We are terribly saddened to hear of the passing of Wales great, Lions legend and World Rugby Hall of Famer, John Dawes.

“Our thoughts are with his family and friends. RIP John.”

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