FORMER Ireland and Lions star Mike Gibson has become the fifth Irishman to be inducted into the International Rugby Board’s Hall of Fame.
Gibson joined Jack Kyle, Willie John McBride, Syd Millar and Tony O’Reilly in a category that was introduced by the IRB in 2006, at the Ulster Rugby Awards in Belfast on Tuesday night.
Millar, who was himself inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2009, presented his former Ulster and Ireland team-mate with a commemorative cap and gold pin.
He said: “Mike Gibson was one of the finest players of his generation, one of the finest players ever to represent Ireland and the British & Irish Lions and a man who epitomised the very ethos of the game and its values.”
Born in 1942, Gibson is considered one of the finest outside-backs ever to play the game. He had a glittering career that included 69 Tests for Ireland and five British and Irish Lions tours. He eventually played 25 times at out-half, 40 times at centre and four times on the wing for Ireland.
His caps record stood until 2006, when it was surpassed by Malcolm O’Kelly, while his 56 appearances in the Five Nations was only equalled this year by Ronan O’Gara.
He also played 68 matches for the Lions, winning 12 Test caps, helping to win tours of New Zealand in 1971 an South Africa in 74.
Gibson said: “It is an honour to be inducted into the IRB Hall of Fame and to be recognised amongst an illustrious list of greats.
“I consider rugby to be the greatest team sport and I must give thanks to all my team-mates with whom I trained and played.
“Without them this would not have been possible.”
Awarded an MBE for services to rugby, Gibson continues to practice law in Belfast where he plays an active role in the rugby community.
Meanwhile, Newport Gwent Dragons have strengthened their pack with the signings of Tom Brown and Nathan Williams.
Former Scarlets prop Williams, 27, will return to his homeland following a stint with Championship side Moseley while back-rower Brown, also 27, has been capped by Wales in rugby league and joins from the Cardiff Blues.
“These are two important signings for us,” said Dragons forwards coach Danny Wilson.
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