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Monday Feb 20, 2017

Dan Vickerman death at 37 shocks rugby world

Dan Vickerman death at 37 shocks rugby world

The rugby world is still in shock following the passing of former Wallaby Dan Vickerman. He passed away at just 37-year-old, leaving behind a wife and two young children. The devastating news comes a week after the tragic death of former All Black Sione Lauaki.

Born and raised in South Africa, Vickerman came to prominence at Bishops in Cape Town and later played for the Junior Springboks before moving to Australia to take up a career with the Brumbies in Canberra.

Under 21 rugby with Australia soon followed and later the 204cm, 119 kg second rower made his debut for the Wallabies, turning out against France in Sydney in 2002.

In 2007 he moved to England to study at Cambridge University, which included two Varsity matches, as well as a short stint at Northampton Saints.

His career went on to span a decade, including 63 Tests and two Rugby World Cups. His final Test appearance was in the 2011 RWC semi final against New Zealand.

Fellow South African-turned-Australian Clyde Rathbone has paid tribute to Vickerman. Both players’ careers followed a similar path, and Rathbone has credited Vickerman with convincing him to move to Australia.

“Vicks is gone now and there will be no more calls to pick that massive brain in that massive head,” Rathbone said in his ROAR column. “What remains is a vast and inextinguishable collage of memories. Memories of a great man gone too soon.

“Daniel Vickerman had a rich life. He experienced incredible triumphs, painful defeats, all in-between. He sought adventure, embraced challenges, and maintained a rare blend of integrity and humility throughout. He loved, and was loved by a great many people.

“He will not be forgotten. Here’s to you Vicks.”

While speculation about the cause of death has been rife, the official word is that – for the time being at least – respect is being paid to family and loved ones and there will be no further details released.

The following video explains things a bit better though, with former teammate Owen Finegan saying that Vickerman had opened up to him about certain issues in the past.

Finegan also said in his ABC column that those close to Vickerman will help his family.

“I’m sure the whole rugby community will come around them. I’ve only heard for about — well it hasn’t even been 24 hours and you think to yourself could you have done anything to help him,” he said.

“He’s got a young family and they’ll need all the support they can get. [It will] definitely be something that everyone will be offering and be very supportive to Sarah and the kids and their needs.”

Sincere condolences to his family, friends and all those he touched in his 37 years. RIP.

credit: tightfiverugbyunion


  • drg
    1:55 PM 20/02/2017

    Last paragraph highlights social media entirely. People are so connected yet so distant. We've lost the ability to maintain contact directly with people because a simple post on twitter or FB lets everyone know exactly whats going on.... No need to ask someone if they're ok, or what they've been up to, because all you need to do is check facebook and you have your answer....only issue is perhaps that person isn't what their facebook suggests. People have lost the ability to converse with individuals or even start a relationship with others. I was chatting to a good friend of mine the other day and he is not on facebook, but he was telling me his thoughts about it, basically saying that in order to become someones friend nowadays (real life friend) you make acquaintances face to face, then add them on FB and learn all about them, their mum, dad, granny, auntie, dietary requirements, favourite films etc, all without actually talking to them.. It was quite shockingly true. There are a lot of youths now struggling with the pressures of social media. As for this man and the void after a sports career. I agree, these guys are hitting a skill level unheard of at 17-18 years old, peaks of fitness in early 20's which will continue providing injuries don't occur, but come 30 when the rest of us are starting to get quite into our careers, their career is nearly over... All they have ever known is egg chasing. What seems to strike me as more shocking with Vickerman (as others have said on the news) is that he seemed to have a "after rugby" plan...

  • 45678
    1:16 PM 20/02/2017

    This is really sad I have no idea of the circumstances, but it highlights a big void for sportsman especially after a pro career Perhaps an area of contention, but the much talked about rugby 'fraternity' only exists whilst you are in it. Apart from the odd reunion, perhaps we should all be doing more to extend the 'fraternity' beyond playing days? the modern way of outpouring emotion publcially on twitter just makes me sad. You can't blame individuals or life happening, but a phone call or visit could have made a much bigger difference

  • jimmy23
    12:54 PM 20/02/2017

    There's seems to be a lot of talk about him struggling with the transition into 'regular' life after retiring from rugby. As DrG said, even the toughest blokes on the field can have their issues. RIP.

  • drg
    12:33 PM 20/02/2017

    I guess at this stage any cause is purely speculation, but it doesn't sound good. Very sad hear about. If this isn't illness related (at least not a physical illness) then at it's least it can only be an example of how troubled anyone can be. This guy is a giant of a bloke, but it's an example of looks being deceiving. Big gnarly looking tough guys have their own issues too. RIP Vickerman


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