Australian league great Steve Folkes dead at 59

SYDNEY (AP) Steve Folkes, who won premierships as a player and coach with the Canterbury Bulldogs in Australia’s National Rugby League and who played five tests for Australia, has died aged 59, the Bulldogs club said.

The cause of death was believed to be cardiac arrest.

The Bulldogs on Tuesday confirmed the death of Folkes, who played 245 premiership matches for the club between 1978 and 1991, appearing in six grand finals and winning four. He coached the club between 1998 and 2008 in 288 NRL games, winning the premiership in 2004.

Folkes played nine State of Origin matches for New South Wales and five tests for Australia between 1986 and 1988, touring Britain with the undefeated Kangaroos team in 1986. He also coached the Australian women’s rugby league team.