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Willie Duggan: Ireland rugby great dies at age of 67

Willie Duggan, regarded as one of Ireland’s greatest ever rugby players, has died at the age of 67.Duggan passed away at his home in Dunmore near Kilkenny city following a suspected heart attack.He will be remembered as an outstanding number eight for Leinster who won 41 caps as an Ireland international between 1975 and 1984.

He played in all four Tests during the Lions tour 1977 to New Zealand which the All Blacks won 3-1.

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In January 1977, Duggan and Wales’ Geoff Wheel became the first players to be sent off during a Five Nations game.Scottish referee Norman Samson dismissed the pair after they had come to blows at a line-out during the match at Cardiff Arms Park.Duggan helped Ireland clinch the Triple Crown and Five Nations Championship in 1982 while in addition to being a tremendous player, will always be remembered as one of the characters of the game.During Ireland’s successful 1982 campaign, Duggan emerged from the tunnel at Twickenham smoking a cigarette which he requested referee Allan Hosie to “hold for me”.Asked about his notorious 1977 dismissal at the Arms Park, Duggan quipped that he hadn’t been sent off, but that referee Samson had asked if he would “mind leaving the field”.
Source: Rugby Union bbc

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