One of the architects of the inaugural Rugby World Cup, Wallabies great Sir Nicholas Shehadie, has died in Sydney aged 91.
Former Lord Mayor of Sydney Sir Nick Shehadie and his wife Marie Bashir, who is a former NSW Governor.
Sir Nicholas Shehadie improved everything he was involved with. "My thoughts and prayers are with the family", he tweeted.
Shehadie, a tall and powerful prop regarded as one of the best to have played the game, was the first man to play 100 games for the Wallabies during an worldwide career stretching from 1946 to 1958.
He represented Australia 114 times before moving into the administration of the game.
Shehadie, who played 30 Tests between 1947 and 1958, a record at the time with three of those as captain, passed away in hospital late Sunday, Rugby Australia said.
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Sir Nicholas retired from the board of the Australian Rugby Union after the 1987 World Cup, and was made a life member.
"Today we mourn the loss of a great player, a great leader and visionary and a true gentleman, whose legacy to rugby fans around the world is the Rugby World Cup", a statement from World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont read.
Sir Nicholas was appointed a companion of the Order of Australia in 1990.
Shehadie's post-football career was just as formidable, commencing a career in public office in 1962 when he stood as an alderman for the council elections of the City of Sydney.
He was president of the Australian Rugby Union from 1980 to 1987, and was instrumental to the establishment of the Rugby World Cup.
The husband of former NSW Governor General Dam Marie Bashir, Shehadie also served as Sydney's Lord Mayor between 1973 and 1975, and was the chairman of SBS for two decades, between 1981 and 1999.