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Tributes to rugby 'legend' Keane

Rugby legend Moss Keane has been remembered as an icon who ranked among Ireland's greatest sporting legends.

Tributes from the worlds of sport and politics poured in for the much-loved Ireland, Munster and Lions star after he lost a lengthy fight with cancer, aged 62.

Keane was capped 51 times for his country and was part of the famous Munster side that beat New Zealand in Thomond Park, Limerick, in 1978.

Taoiseach Brian Cowen said he was saddened to hear about the death of one of the great gentlemen of Irish sport.

"Moss Keane was one of the finest rugby players Ireland has ever produced," he said.

"He was among rugby's best known characters and a legend of the game at home and abroad."

Kevin Fitzpatrick, president of Leinster Rugby, said Keane was a larger-than-life figure who would be sadly missed and fondly remembered by a generation of rugby fans.

"Moss Keane was a true icon and a legend of Irish rugby," he said.

"His performances on the field of play mirrored the incredible influence and presence he manifested, which transcended rugby grounds across the world."

Regarded as a latecomer to rugby, he made his debut for Ireland in Paris in 1974 before going on to win 50 more caps during a 10-year career that also saw him capped for the British and Irish Lions tour of New Zealand in 1977.

Press Association

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