Some of rugby's best-known stars have paid tribute to the late Gary Halpin.
The former Leinster, London Irish, and Harlequins prop's death was announced on Wednesday morning.
Halpin made 11 appearances for the national team between 1990 and 1995, scoring a try against New Zealand at the 1995 Rugby World Cup. Domestically, he played for Leinster before making a career move to England.
A teacher by profession, the Kilkenny native was also a dual sportsperson, representing Ireland at the 1987 World Athletics Championships in Rome in the hammer.
His international career began against England at Twickenham in 1990 and after touching down against the All Blacks in Johannesburg, he famously delivered a colourful two-fingered salute to Sean Fitzpatrick, a move he subsequently regretted. Ireland would go on to lose the game 43-19.
Halpin studied at Rockwell College before taking up a scholarship at the University of Manhattan. He would go on to teach economics and politics in Weybridge in England, before returning to Ireland to become Head of Boarding at Cistercian College in Roscrea.
Former teammates and colleagues from the world of rugby gathered to pay tribute to a man respected throughout the sport.
— Jerry Flannery (@jerryflannery) February 24, 2021
Everyone at Irish Rugby is deeply saddened to hear of the passing of former Ireland international Gary Halpin.
Gary won 11 Test caps, representing Ireland at the 1991 and 1995 Rugby World Cups.
Our thoughts are with his family, friends and former team-mates at this sad time. pic.twitter.com/vE6HkVLW7x
— Irish Rugby (@IrishRugby) February 24, 2021
Leinster Rugby is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of former Leinster, @Harlequins, @londonirish and @IrishRugby prop Gary Halpin.
Our thoughts are with Gary's family, friends, and all who knew him.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.https://t.co/TLtCKa7ic1 pic.twitter.com/P9zn2Vp87n
— Leinster Rugby (@leinsterrugby) February 24, 2021
It’s with great sadness & surprise that we’ve learned of the sudden & untimely death of IrishRugby legend & Kilkenny RFC life member Gary Halpin, at just 55. Gary played at both 1991 & 1995 world cups, picking up 11 international caps along the way, scoring a memorable try pic.twitter.com/7kWGUcvzSQ
— Kilkenny Rugby (@KilkennyRFC) February 24, 2021
The College community of staff, students, parents and monks were devastated this morning on hearing of the sudden death of our much loved colleague and friend Gary Halpin RIP.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis. pic.twitter.com/AqD7gozVVo
— Cistercian College (@CCRoscrea) February 24, 2021
Our thoughts and condolences go out to the family and friends of former Ireland prop Gary Halpin, who has sadly passed away aged 55 pic.twitter.com/pMYgDHHoAg
— World Rugby (@WorldRugby) February 24, 2021
Very sad news to hear this morning of the passing suddenly of Gary Halpin. What a lovely man he was and a wonderful character. Sincere condolences to all his family and friends. R.I.P.
— Alan Quinlan (@AlanQuinlan1) February 24, 2021
Heart broken at the news that Gary Halpin has died. A great athlete representing Ireland at hammer throwing & rugby. The best sense of humour & the funniest man I have ever coached. Off the field a gentleman & great family man.The world today is a lesser place. RIP Gary.
— Matt Williams (@MattRCNM) February 24, 2021
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