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John Dawes, captain for Lions’ series win in NZ, dies at 80

April 16, 2021 GMT

LONDON (AP) — John Dawes, the former Wales center who captained the British and Irish Lions to their only series victory over New Zealand in 1971, has died following a period of ill health. He was 80.

Dawes’ death was announced by his former Welsh club, Newbridge, on Friday.

Dawes played 22 times for Wales, making his try-scoring debut in 1964. He captained his country six times and led it to the Grand Slam in the Six Nations in 1971.

He made 19 appearances for the Lions, including four test matches, and led them to a 2-1 series win over the All Blacks. He coached the tourists in New Zealand in 1977..

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He was also captain of the Barbarians team which beat New Zealand in 1973 in Cardiff, playing a key role in the buildup to Gareth Edwards’ famous try.

As Wales coach, Dawes won the Five Nations title four times between 1975-79, including two Grand Slams.

“A true legend of the game, John will be sorely missed,” the Lions said.

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