Wallaby Jeff McLean dead at 63 - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Wallaby Jeff McLean dead at 63

06/08/2010 04:14:47 PM Comments (0)

Australian rugby has been deeply saddened by the passing of former Wallabies winger Jeff McLean, who died on Friday after a protracted battle with cancer.

He was 63.

A member of Australian rugby's "Royal Family", Jeff McLean played 13 Tests for the Wallabies from 1971-74 before a badly broken leg forced him into premature retirement.

His career in the gold jumper included two Test tries - both scored against the All Blacks in Christchurch in the third Test of the 1972 Bledisloe Cup series.

The Wallabies will play the All Blacks at the same ground on Saturday night and will wear black arm bands in a mark of respect to the winger who also represented Queensland from 1969-74.

Jeff McLean played his final Test in the same game in which his younger brother Paul made his international debut, against New Zealand in Sydney in 1974.

The brothers and their cousin Peter were the latest in a line of six Test-playing Wallabies, spanning three generations, to emerge from one of Australia's most distinguished sporting families.

Jeff McLean, like his brother Paul, was a noted goalkicker and scored 85 points on Australia's 1972 tour of New Zealand, with 11 conversions and nine penalty goals complementing nine tries.

Former Wallabies captain and now QRU President, Tony Shaw, said all of Australian rugby would be deeply saddened by the news of his death.

"Jeff was an amazingly talented rugby player who achieved much during a relatively short representative career with Queensland and Australia," Shaw said.

"He played against the best teams in the world in his 13 Tests, excelling in all of them.

"He would undoubtedly have gone on to an even more highly decorated career had not a badly broken leg brought a premature end to his playing career.

"The Rugby world is poorer for his passing."

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