Phil Bennett dead aged 73: Legendary Wales and British and Irish Lions fly-half dies as rugby world pays tribute

Legendary Wales and British & Irish Lions captain Phil Bennett has died aged 73.

Bennett was a key figure in Wales’ golden era, helping them win two Five Nations Grand Slams in the 1970s.

Wales and Lions legend Phil Bennett has died aged 73

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Wales and Lions legend Phil Bennett has died aged 73Photo credit: Colorsport

The fly-half also starred in the Lions’ historic, unbeaten Tour of South Africa in 1974, while providing 20 magical moments for the Barbarians.

Bennett is considered one of the greatest players, wearing the legendary No 10 shirt for Wales and the Lions.

The Scarlets announced Bennett’s death, saying in a statement he was “one of the all-time legends of the game and widely regarded as the greatest player to wear the Scarlets jersey”.

Bennett made eight Test appearances for the Lions on two tours, becoming only the second Welshman to captain the Lions on their 1977 tour of New Zealand.

The great Llanelli RFC won 29 caps for Wales. He retired in style in 1978 by leading his country to their second Grand Slam in three years with a win over France in his final match.

British & Irish Lions tweeted: “We are saddened to learn of the death of Phil Bennett.

“Phil toured with the Lions in 1977 and was a key member of the revered Invincibles of ’74.

“Our condolences go out to his family and friends at this time. He will be greatly missed. RIP lion no. 506.”

Ireland’s great Brian O’Driscoll tweeted: “A wonderful man humble and funny who could play a bit. RIP, Mr. Bennett.”

Former England captain Sir Bill Beaumont, chairman of World Rugby, added: “We are very saddened to hear of the death of Phil Bennett. One of the greats of Welsh & Lions Rugby.

“Lots of wonderful memories of touring with him in ’77.

“Nice person. Condolences to his family and friends at this sad time.”

https://www.the-sun.com/sport/5547173/phil-bennett-dead-at-73-wales-lions-fly-half-rugby-mourns/ Phil Bennett dead aged 73: Legendary Wales and British and Irish Lions fly-half dies as rugby world pays tribute

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