The global rugby community has come together to mourn Dan Vickerman, who passed away over the weekend aged just 37.
Vickerman, whose 63 caps for Australia included the 2011 Rugby World Cup final, had one of his last stops on his playing career at Franklin’s Gardens. He played five times for the Saints between 2009 and 2011 during his three-year degree course in Land Economy at Cambridge University.
The second row forward wrote his name into the Light Blues’ history books by captaining them to Varsity Cup glory against Oxford in 2009, his second outing in the Twickenham showpiece occasion.
News of his passing has brought tributes from across the globe, from former teammates and opponents alike.
After retiring in 2012 Vickerman worked with the Australian Rugby Union Players’ Association, whose chief executive Ross Xenos commented: “Dan was universally respected by his peers and the rugby community during and beyond his playing days. Since retiring, he was very generous in giving back to the game through coaching and voluntary roles supporting players’ off-field development.”
Shocked an old team mate Dan Vickerman has passed away..Grateful to have played along side you..Thoughts & prayers are with his wife & 2kids
— Quade Cooper (@QuadeCooper) February 19, 2017
“We're all devastated about our good friend and team-mate, Vicks. I think I speak on behalf of all players in saying that our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Sarah and the boys,” added Australian teammate Phil Waugh.
“Out of respect to them, we'd prefer not to say too much more except that we are thinking of them and his family at this difficult time and he will always be in our hearts.”
— All Blacks (@AllBlacks) February 19, 2017
England head coach Eddie Jones gave Vickerman his Australia debut in 2002 and coached him at the Brumbies said: “On behalf of the RFU and myself, I would like to send my condolences to Dan Vickerman’s family, Sarah and the two kids. He was a wonderfully committed team player and a good guy. He will be sorely missed by the rugby community.”
Waking up to sad news about Dan Vickerman this morning. Always enjoyed playing against him. A real competitor and a great guy.
— Victor Matfield (@VictorMatfield) February 19, 2017
Everyone at Franklin’s Gardens joins the rest of the global rugby community in sending their thoughts and wishes to Dan’s family and friends at this extremely sad time.