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NZ Rugby condolences at passing of Sir Nicholas Shehadie

NZ Rugby condolences at passing of Sir Nicholas Shehadie

Former Sydney lord mayor and ex-Wallaby captain Sir Nicholas Shehadie has been remembered as a truly great Australian following his death at the age of 92.

His post-playing career was just as formidable and he served as Lord Mayor of Sydney in 1973 - a period marked by the official opening of the Sydney Opera House. "It's going to leave a hole in the heart of many because people like Nick Shehadie don't come along very often".

"The thoughts of the global rugby family are with his family, friends and the Australian rugby community at this hard time".

Shehadie, one of only two Wallabies to ever be knighted, passed away in hospital late on Sunday night. He represented Australia 30 times in rugby Tests, three of them as captain, and was inducted into the Australian rugby union hall of fame. "He was in the first Wallaby team to claim the Bledisloe Cup in New Zealand and a pivotal force in bringing the Rugby World Cup to life in 1987", said Tew.

Following his retirement, Shehadie moved into the administration of the game and became president of the then Australian Rugby Union in 1980.

Sir Nicholas died in hospital on Sunday aged 92
NZ Rugby condolences at passing of Sir Nicholas Shehadie

"Today we mourn the loss of a great player, a great leader and visionary and a true gentleman, whose legacy to rugby fans around the world is the Rugby World Cup", a statement from World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont read.

He was also appointed a companion of the Order of Australia in 1990.

"Sir Nicholas contributed so much to NSW across public life, sport, media and the community and will be deeply missed".

Sir Nicholas was the husband of former NSW governor Dame Marie Bashir, who held the position between 2001 and 2004.

With the support of New Zealand Rugby Union chairman Dick Littlejohn, he drove the creation of the first Rugby World Cup played in 1987, despite initial resistance from the northern hemisphere ranks within the IRB.

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