| 16.2°C Dublin

Kiwis mourn loss of 'inspirational' Hobbs

Ex-All Blacks captain and New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) chairman Jock Hobbs has died after a long fight with leukaemia.

"Our hearts and love go out to Jock's wife Nicky, his children Emily, Michael, Penny and Isabelle, as well as his wider family," said NZRU chairman Mike Eagle.

Hobbs, 52, played 21 tests, four as captain, as a loose forward for the All Blacks from 1983-86, but he was forced to retire after suffering from a series of concussions.

He was diagnosed with non-acute leukaemia in 2005, but only made the condition public in 2009.

"New Zealand has lost an inspirational leader with an incredible passion for the game and the part it plays in our lives," added Eagle.

Hobbs was forced to step down from his roles with the NZRU and the World Cup organisers in May 2010 to undergo chemotherapy. But he presented All Blacks captain Richie McCaw and fullback Mils Muliaina with commemorative silver caps when they reached the 100-cap milestone during last year's World Cup.