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

Kolbe, Kok start for WP

16 minutes ago

 

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
  • Blitz
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
  • SS1
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
  • SS2
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
  • SS3
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 

Quiz: Test your Rio Olympics memory!

Think you know what went on at the Rio Olympics? Prove it by tackling Sport24's ridiculously impossible yet highly addictive post-Games quiz!

 
 

Rio Olympics

GALLERY: SA's Rio Olympic medallists
As it happened: Rio Olympics - Day 17
Selecting 6 numbers turned Britain into Olympic superpower
Caster cranks up the heat in Rio semi
 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

Follow all the action from the 2016 Rio Olympics. The highs, the lows, the tears, the smiles as the world's greatest athletes compete for gold, silver and bronze.

Latest blogs
Vote

The Kings will play this year's Currie Cup in the "B" First Division. How will this impact their Super Rugby participation next year?

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.