The passing of David Duckham at the age of 76 marks the end of one of English rugby union’s most memorable names. The blond-haired back was renowned for his skillful running ability and was a part of the 1973 Barbarians and New Zealand game in Cardiff.
Duckham represented England 36 times, scoring 10 tries, and was part of the 1971 British & Irish Lions squad who famously beat the All Blacks. He was the only Englishman in the Barbarians back line to beat New Zealand fifty years ago this month. Duckham died on Monday evening at St Thomas’ Hospital in London.
During the 1971 Lions tour, Duckham stood out with his 11 tries in 16 games, including six in one game against West Coast-Buller. His skillful running and evasive maneuvers earned him admiration from Welsh fans, who called him “Dai”. He also made an impression in the 1973 Barbarians game with his outstanding running.
Duckham began his club career with Coventry and was chosen for the England team to play Ireland in 1969. He was often used as a wing or center, and his agility, agility, and ability to find openings in the defense made him stand out from other English rugby players of the time. He was also known for his successful partnership with fellow Lion John Spencer.
By the time his Test career concluded in 1976 due to an injury sustained against Scotland at Murrayfield, he had become England’s most capped three-quarter and their second most prolific try-scorer behind Cyril Lowe. Coventry, his former club, expressed “incredibly sad” news upon learning of his death and claimed he was “arguably the greatest ever Coventry player”. They plan to honour Duckham before their upcoming match against Jersey.
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