MX23RW : Wednesday, August 5 09:56:55| >> :600:614133:614133:

Former All Black captain Andy Haden dies aged 69 after long cancer battle

The lock spent time at English club Harlequins.

Former All Black Andy Haden has died at the age of 69 after a long battle with cancer, New Zealand Rugby have announced.

The lock played 41 Tests between 1972 and 1985 and captained his country eight times while he also had a spell with Harlequins in England.

Haden died on July 29 surrounded by his family and New Zealand Rugby president Bill Osborne paid tribute to his ex-team-mate.

"Andy's stature and influence as a player was huge," Osborne said.

"Most people will remember the way he dominated the lineout as a tower of strength, but I also remember the way he looked after the young players coming into the All Blacks, and how he advocated for players' rights both during and after his playing career."

Mark Robinson, New Zealand Rugby's chief executive, added: "Andy was one of the most recognisable figures in New Zealand Rugby both on and off the field. He will be remembered by those who saw him play as one of the true greats of our game."

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