Rugby

All Blacks great knighted

2012-06-04 07:49
John Kirwan (File)

Wellington - Former All Blacks great John Kirwan, who has also coached Italy and Japan at Rugby World Cups as well as being an advocate for sufferers of depression, was honoured with a knighthood Monday.

The 47-year-old was named a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the country's Queen's Birthday honours list for his services to mental health and rugby union.

Kirwan, who played 63 Tests for the All Blacks, has become a campaigner for mental health issues and written about his own battle with depression in the book "All Blacks Don't Cry".

"There were scary times because of the stigma attached to depression, but I have tried to break those down because it is an illness, not a weakness," he told the New Zealand Herald.

He said he thought long and hard about accepting the knighthood and did so "on behalf of all those people who are suffering, to show there is hope.

"My main message is that there is always hope, there is always help, there is always a way out of the troubles."

Kirwan has appeared at the Rugby World Cup five times, as an All Black player in 1987 and 1991, and as the coach of Italy in 2003, and Japan in 2007 and 2011.

Former assistant All Blacks coaches Steve Hansen and Wayne Smith were both made Companions of the New Zealand Order of Merit for their part in the team's World Cup victory last October.

The then head coach Graham Henry had already been knighted in the New Year's honours list, when captain Richie McCaw turned down the offer of an immediate knighthood saying it did not seem appropriate while he was still playing.

Read more on:    john kirwan  |  rugby
NEXT ON SPORT24X

What To Read Next

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
6 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

With the Absa Premiership nearing its conclusion, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Bidvest Wits hold them off? A bridge too far for new boys Cape Town City FC? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs
Vote

Which player in the 31-man Springbok squad to face France can consider himself most fortunate?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.