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Davies dies after long illness
Wales' 1976 Grand Slam captain Mervyn Davies has died, the Welsh Rugby Union said. He was 65.
The former London Welsh and Swansea number eight won 38 caps and toured with the British and Irish Lions to New Zealand in 1971 and South Africa three years later, featuring in eight Tests. Known as 'Merv the Swerve', he suffered a brain haemorrhage playing for Swansea against Pontypool in a Welsh Cup semi-final in 1976 that cut short his career.
A statement released by the WRU read: "The Welsh Rugby Union is saddened to learn of the death of Mervyn Davies who deservedly earned a worldwide reputation as one of the greats of the modern game. Flags at the Millennium Stadium are flying at half-mast from today in honour."
The WRU said Davies passed away following a long illness.
The current Wales team will be crowned RBS 6 Nations champions and Grand Slam winners if they beat France at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday.
Leading the tributes, WRU president Dennis Gethin said: "We have lost a great player, a wonderful ambassador for the game and a true gentlemen.
"I played against Mervyn many times and knew just how good he was, but I also grew to appreciate him as a true friend.
"In later life he also became an accomplished after dinner speaker, so his loss will be felt in many ways by so many people."
WRU chairman and former Wales skipper David Pickering added: "Mervyn Davies was a man who epitomised the values of Welsh rugby and will be sadly missed by everyone who knew him and all who knew of him.
"He was a giant of the game, both on and off the field, for London Welsh, Swansea, Wales, the Barbarians and the British and Irish Lions. He bore his illness with courage, and his memory will undoubtedly live on within our game for all time."