RWC legends inducted into IRB Hall of Fame

(IRB.COM) Wednesday 26 October 2011
 RWC legends inducted into IRB Hall of Fame
Jonah Lomu was one of 19 inducted into the IRB Hall of Fame in Auckland

  • Founders, pioneers and legends recognised
  • Emotional Jonah Lomu receives accolade
  • Fitting finale to an historic Rugby World Cup

The International Rugby Board inducted a number of Rugby World Cup icons into the IRB Hall of Fame in a special ceremony during the IRB Awards in association with Emirates Airline in Auckland on Monday.

In total 19 founders, pioneers and legends have been honoured for their outstanding contribution to an event that has grown from humble beginnings to become one of the world’s largest and most recognisable sports events.

Dr Roger Vanderfield, Richard Littlejohn, Sir Nicholas Shehadie and John Kendall-Carpenter were inducted in recognition of their vision and dedication to making the Rugby World Cup dream a reality as the showcase tournament made its debut in New Zealand in 1987.

Previous winning captains and coaches were also inducted with David Kirk, Sir Brian Lochore (1987), Nick Farr-Jones,  Bob Dwyer (1991), Francois Pienaar, Kitch Christie (1995), Rod Macqueen (1999), Martin Johnson CBE, Sir Clive Woodward OBE (2003), John Smit (South Africa) and Jake White (2007) joining previous inductee John Eales in the exclusive club.

Players who had left an indelible mark on Rugby World Cup for their moments of magic, inspiration or feats were also inducted. Gareth Rees (Canada), Agustín Pichot (Argentina), Brian Lima (Samoa) and Jonah Lomu (New Zealand) all provided the Rugby family with moments that will live long in the memory.

“It is fitting that we should be making this induction after what has been a truly outstanding Rugby World Cup in New Zealand,” said IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset, who presented the commemorative caps and gold pins to inductees and their representatives.

“It is also entirely appropriate that this induction to mark those who paved the way for this great tournament to happen and those who have provided generations with joy and drama, should be inducted in the country where it all began 24 years ago.”

“It really is a great honour to be making this induction to people who have shaped the direction of our sport and made an enormous contribution to an event that continues to provide the financial platform to grow and develop the Game around the world.”

VIDEO: IRB Awards 2011 Highlights

The IRB Induction Panel, chaired by Lapasset, comprises prominent Rugby historian Henri Garcia, Wales and Lions legend and IRB Council Member Gerald Davies, former England scrum half and TV commentator Nigel Starmer-Smith, New Zealand journalist and author Don Cameron, former Scotland hooker, writer and author Norman Mair and leading Argentine journalist, historian and broadcaster Pablo Mamone, with Chris Thau as Secretary.

The IRB Hall of Fame was launched in 2006 with the induction of Rugby School and William Webb Ellis. In addition to these 19 inductees, the following legends have been inducted: Baron Pierre de Coubertin, Dr Danie Craven, Sir Wilson Whineray, Gareth Edwards, John Eales, The 1888 Natives Team and Joseph Warbrick, Ned Haig and the Melrose club, Dr Jack Kyle, Philippe Sella, Hugo Porta, William Maclagan, Barry Heatlie, Bennie Osler, Cliff Morgan, Sir Anthony O’Reilly AO, Frik du Preez, Dr. Syd Millar, Willie John McBride, Sir Ian McGeechan, Jean Prat, Lucien Mias, Andre and Guy Boniface, Serge Blanco, Harry Vassall and Alan Rotherham, Cardiff RFC and Frank Hancock, Mike Gibson and Barbarian FC and WP Carpmael.