Former Wallaby Lock Dan Vickerman Passes Away

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2006 Tri Nations - Australia v South Africa
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 05: Daniel Vickerman of the Wallabies runs during the Tri Nations series second Mandela plate match between Australia and South Africa at Telstra Stadium August 5, 2006 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)

Tributes have flowed in from former players and opponents, as Former Wallaby Lock Dan Vickerman Passes Away, aged 37. The 63 test, ex-pat South African player has passed away at his family home over the weekend.

Wallaby Dan Vickerman Passes

The news comes shortly on the heels of former All Black Sione Lauaki and Springbok legend Joost van der Westhuizen. The quick succession of the former rugby players has shocked some, with two players still in their 30’s. But the reaction has been sensitive, as families grieve for men taken too soon.

The NZW Waratahs and ACT Brumbies representative had a long and illustrious career in ‘green and gold’ after settling in Australia in 2000. After appearing for South Africa under-21 age group, he was embraced by Australian rugby. He first appeared in an under-21 side, but impressed many with his attitude and jumping ability.

Signed for the ACT Brumbies, Vickerman again was one to impress and soon earned a Wallaby jersey. In 2001 he debuted against France in Sydney. That was the beginning of 63 tests spanning 2002 to 2011. That included several Rugby World Cup appearances, where he was a powerful lock/loose forward and highly respected senior player. Respected by fellow player, and opponent.

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The close timing of the three former International rugby players has ‘rocked World rugby’. The often heated rivalry on the field immediately takes a backseat in these situations, as the rugbyunited spirit of the game rises as one.

Test Lock and Quiet Achiever

While Vickerman may not have been the ‘big talker’ of the likes of Sean Fitzpatrick or Phil Kearns, he was a pivot at lock playing for the Wallabies. In the early years of the TriNations competition between Australia, New Zealand and the place of his birth, South Africa, Vickerman was solid as a rock.

In 2008, Vickerman left professional rugby to further his study. He attended Cambridge University, and signed a short-term contract with Northampton in 2009. That gave him a greater perspective, even captaining the University match against Oxford.

On his return to Australia, his passion for rugby saw him playing for the NSW Waratahs. That saw him called into the Robbie Deans coached Wallabies side of 2011. Australia placed third at the New Zealand hosted RWC tournament [his third], and it would be the final time he ran out for the national team.

63 Test Career for Dan Vickerman

Dan Vickerman had retired from competitive rugby post-Rugby World Cup, as in 2012 a stress fractures in the tibia of his right leg forced his retirement from the game he loved. With a young family, he launched a business career and was a rugby commentator and writer. Often at charity events for New South Wales rugby, the rugby fraternity is today stunned and saddened at his sudden (and too early) loss.

Vickerman leaves behind a wife and two young children. Last Word On Rugby offer our deepest sympathies to the family, friends, former team mates and admirers of the tall, quiet man from Cape Town who chose Australia to have a fabulous International career spanning 10 years.

“Main photo credit”

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