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Ray McLoughlin, Lions and Ireland rugby great, dead at 82

Ray McLoughlin, Lions and Ireland rugby great, dead at 82

DUBLIN (AP) — Former British and Irish Lions prop and Ireland captain Ray McLoughlin has died. He was 82.

The Lions and his former Connacht province announced his death on Monday, and paid tribute.

Both of McLoughlin's Lions tour were cut short by injury. In 1966, he played both tests of the series win in Australia, and the first test against New Zealand.

He was injured on the 1971 tour of New Zealand a week before the first test when he broke his thumb in the infamous win against Canterbury, regarded by the Lions as one of the most brutal in their history.

However, the Lions said his mentoring of the forwards played a vital part in their only series win against the All Blacks.

McLoughlin played a then-record 40 times for Ireland from 1962 to 1975, and was captain when they beat South Africa for the first time, 9-6 in 1965 at Lansdowne Road. When he was captain for two years, his ideas on structured training, discipline and strategy were considered revolutionary.

He also was in the first Barbarians side to beat the All Blacks in 1973 in Cardiff, notable for the Gareth Edwards try.

He was the first Lion produced by Connacht, which he represented for 16 seasons.

"McLoughlin is regularly mentioned as one of Ireland’s greatest ever props and he leaves an immeasurable impact on rugby in the west of Ireland,” Connacht said.

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Updated : 2021-11-29 22:20 GMT+08:00