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Irish Legends Nominated For IRB Hall Of Fame Honour

Irish Legends Nominated For IRB Hall Of Fame Honour

Three legends of Irish rugby – Jack Kyle, Willie John McBride and Mike Gibson – have been nominated in the 20th century list of candidates to be inducted into the International Rugby Board’s Hall of Fame later this year.

The third induction to the IRB Hall of Fame will take place later this year, following the completion of the induction process. The IRB Hall of Fame Induction Panel has compiled a list of candidates for the 2008 induction.

The candidates are divided into three sections: 19th Century, 20th Century and 21st Century.

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The induction process involves several stages including consultation with rugby followers around the world.

At the Induction Ceremony, held during the 2008 IRB Awards ceremony, five new candidates will be inducted – two from the 19th Century list, two from the 20th Century list and one from the 21st Century list.

The public may vote for one or more of the candidates listed.

Voting Procedure:

Please send an email to halloffame@irb.com containing the reference number of your candidates: two from 19th Century, two from 20th Century and one from the 21st Century.

* The 19th Century candidates are listed from 19.1 to 19.11. Choose a maximum of two from the list and write down their reference numbers

* The 20th Century candidates are listed from 20.1 to 20.18. Choose a maximum of two from the list, write down their reference numbers

* The 21st Century candidates are listed from 21.1 to 21.5. Choose one from the list, noting the reference number

Class of 2008 – 

Irish Candidates For Induction:

20.6 Dr. John Wilson ‘Jackie’ Kyle (Queen’s University & Ireland): Unquestionably one of the greatest out-halves the game has ever seen. Born on January 10, 1926 in Belfast, he played at outside half for Ireland 46 times between 1947 and 1958. He masterminded the one and only Grand Slam in Irish rugby history in 1948.

He toured Australia and New Zealand with the 1950 British & Irish Lions and played in all six Tests (four in New Zealand and two in Australia). He was voted one of the six best players of the year by New Zealand media.

20.10 William James ‘Willie John’ McBride (Ballymena & Ireland): Born on June 6, 1940 in Toomebridge, County Antrim, he played for Ballymena and Ulster before he was selected by Ireland. Probably one of the finest forwards to have graced a rugby pitch, he played lock forward for Ireland 63 times between 1962 and 1975.

He toured with the British & Irish Lions six times, once as manager, once as captain and four times as a player – lock forward. He captained the Lions on their unbeaten 1974 tour of South Africa and was a member of the 1971 all-conquering Lions squad (New Zealand).

In addition, McBride toured South Africa with the 1962 and 1968 Lions and New Zealand and Australia in 1966. He managed the 1983 Lions in New Zealand.

20.12 Cameron Michael Henderson ‘Mike’ Gibson (North of Ireland, Ulster & Ireland): He was born on December 3, 1942, and is arguably one of Ireland’s greatest ever players, having commenced his playing career with his Belfast club ‘North of Ireland’. He played for his school Campbell College, club and Ulster before being selected for Ireland in 1964.

His extraordinary career includes three blues at Cambridge (1963 to 1965), 69 Tests for Ireland (40 at centre, 25 at out-half and four on the wing), which was a world record at one stage, and 68 appearances (12 Tests) for the British & Irish Lions over five tours, starting with 1966 (New Zealand) and ending with the 1977 tour to New Zealand. A member of the all-conquering Lions squads of 1971 (New Zealand) and 1974 (South Africa).

The members of the rugby public may also nominate a player, a team or an organisation for consideration. In order to do this, you must give the reasons in writing, including full background information on the proposed candidate. Should the Induction Panel approve the proposal, the name of the new candidate will be added to the list.

At the end of July this year, the results of the public vote will be forwarded to the IRB Induction Panel for consideration. By the end of the summer a shortlist of semi-finalists (top six candidates in each category) will be published on the IRB Hall of Fame website.

Five men were inducted into the IRB Hall of Fame in 2007 – 19th Century: Pierre de Coubertin (France); 20th Century: Wilson Whineray (New Zealand), Dr Danie Craven (South Africa), Gareth Edwards (Wales); 21st Century: John Eales (Australia).

In the inaugural year of 2006, William Webb Ellis and the Rugby School were the inductees.

With your help, this year we can put one or two Irish rugby legends into the IRB Hall of Fame, so get emailing to halloffame@irb.com.

For more details on the IRB Hall of Fame, the voting system, the Induction Panel and previous inductees, please click here.