Ex-Australia rugby forward Dan Vickerman dies at age 37

The rugby world is in shock today after news of the tragic passing of Dan Vickerman.

Born in South Africa, Vickerman earned 63 Test caps for the Wallabies and represented the Brumbies and Waratahs in Super Rugby.

No details of the cause of death were disclosed but local media reported that there were no suspicious circumstances.

The giant lock played 63 Tests for the Wallabies in an worldwide Rugby career spanning a decade from 2002-2011.

'We all play on an old boys team called the Silver Foxes and Dan had expressed a number of times how hard his transition was.it is hard for a lot of professional sports people, especially when you've had 10 or more years at the top of the game'. "It was devastating - we all play on an old boys team called the Silver Foxes and Dan had expressed a number of times how hard his transition was and it is hard for a lot of professional sports people, especially when you've had 10 or more years at the top of the game", Finegan said.

"Dan was a well-respected individual in the rugby community and someone that the players looked up to".

Australian Rugby Union chief executive Bill Pulver paid tribute to the giant lock.

"A much-loved character off the field".

"As a player, Dan is an uncompromising competitor who sets high standards for himself, and demands the same of those around him", the New Zealander said.

"We all have huge admiration for the guy that he was", he said.

"He was an intelligent but hard footballer, and had all the attributes that made him a world class rugby player and a great member of the team".

Jeremy Paul, a former Brumbies and Australia teammate, described Vickerman as a great character who emerged as a physical presence in the Wallabies scrum under the tutelage of Eddie Jones, who guided Australia to the 2003 World Cup final. The following year, he was called on for Australia "A" duties for a match against Canada, and in June 2002 made his Test debut in a 31-25 Wallabies victory over France at Stadium Australia.

In 2008, the 37-year-old left for England, where he spent three years studying for a degree in Land Economics at Cambridge University.

Our condolences go to Vickerman's family and friends. RIP.

He was rushed back into the Wallabies side upon his return to Australia in 2011 to help beat New Zealand in Brisbane to win the Tri-Nations.

  • Angelo Rivera