Ex-Wales and Lions captain John Dawes dies, 80, after battle with illness

Legendary Wales and Lions captain John Dawes has died at the age of 80 after a battle with an illness.

Dawes earned 22 caps for Wales and lead his country to a Grand Slam in 1971.

In the same year, he also captained the British and Irish Lions on their tour of New Zealand.

Dawes' former club Newbridgeannounced the sad news in a statement on Friday.

"We're unfortunately having to report some very sad news. After a period of ill health, John Dawes sadly passed away this morning.

"Everyone associated with our game will be aware of John's story and his great achievements within the game of rugby union.

"The heartfelt condolences of everyone here at Newbridge RFC go out to John's family at this very sad time."

Welsh Rugby Union also released a statement reading: "It is with great sadness that we learnt today of the passing of Wales, @lionsofficial, @newbridgerfc, @LondonWelshRFC and @Barbarian_FC legend John Dawes."

The British and Irish Lions tweeted: "We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Lion #487 John Dawes.

"Captain of the Lions on the 1971 Tour, the only Lions side to win a series in New Zealand, Dawes made 19 appearances for the Lions.

"A true legend of the game, John will be sorely missed."

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