'Mac' takes top IRB award

Tue, 19 Nov 2013 14:08
He really is a living legend

Former Springbok coach and current selector Ian McIntosh has been presented with the IRB's Vernon Pugh Award for Distinguished Service, recognising his achievement in changing the face of rugby in South Africa.

'Mac' was also congratulated by Oregan Hoskins, president of SARU for his receipt of the prestigious global rugby award.

The IRB citation said: "Zimbabwe-born McIntosh steered the Sharks to their first-ever Currie Cup title in 1990 - a feat they were to repeat in two of the three following years, with a direct and confrontational style of play that has been mimicked continuously and to great effect in the professional era."

Hoskins was on hand at the awards ceremony in Dublin to present the award to McIntosh.

"This is a very great honour and one that is richly deserved," said Hoskins. "Mac's achievements as a coach are outstanding and speak for themselves. The Natal teams of the 1990s that he created were game-changing for professional rugby and raised the bar for rugby in this country.

"His influence has been significant on the many players that have passed through his hands and his passion for the game and his contribution to it remains undimmed. He really is a living legend. We salute you, Mac, and are proud of your achievement."

The IRB noted that McIntosh had been an inspiration to all those who crossed his path in a 50-year involvement in the game and that he remains as passionate about rugby as when he first started out.

McIntosh coached the Springboks in the build-up to World Cup in 1995 before returning to the Sharks and delivering two more titles before retiring from coaching in 1999. He still remains heavily involved in rugby through his role as a South Africa national selector and coach for the South African Rugby Legends.  

The award is named in honour of a former chairman of the IRB and was introduced in 2004 and former winners include former All Black coach Brian Lochore, the late Jock Hobbs, former All Black player and NZRU president and Nicholas Shehadie, former Wallaby international and ARU chairman as well chairman of the first RWC committee in 1987.