New Zealand rugby legend Fergie McCormick dies


Fergie McCormick, a hard-tackling fullback who played 16 Tests among 28 matches for the All Blacks between 1965 and 1971, has died aged 78.

William Fergus McCormick, known as Fergie, had been suffering from throat cancer.

McCormick made his All Blacks debut at the relatively late age of 26 after the fullback position had been occupied by the great Don Clarke and Mick Williment.

He played his first Test against South Africa in 1965 and was later chosen ahead of Williment for the 1967 tour to Britain.

He scored 453 points in the black jersey.

McCormick was small, standing only 171cm (5’6”), but was a gritty defender.

“Fergie is a legend of our game and wore the red and black jersey with pride a record 222 times,” said Canterbury Rugby chief executive Nathan Godfrey.

McCormick scored 1297 points for provincial side Canterbury between 1958 and 1975.

New Zealand Rugby chief executive Steve Tew said McCormick’s dedication and commitment to the provincial game was “first class”.

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