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

 

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
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 

Watch: 5 skills to improve your BMX riding

Learn some great skills that will help your riding on the road and on the track.

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

Tips on how to set your fitness goals
This all-terrain vehicle is badass!
The TRUTH about painkillers and exercise
WIN! Where were you when you last felt alive?
 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Featured

Got something you'd like to get off your chest? Got a burning desire to air an opinion? If so, be sure to sign-up on Sport24's FORUM!

Latest blogs
Vote

Western Province and the Golden Lions will do battle at Newlands on Saturday, October 25 for the 2014 Absa Currie Cup title. Who will lift the trophy after 80 minutes?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

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