Former South Africa fullback Lionel Wilson dead at 84

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) Lionel Wilson, regarded as one of the finest fullbacks to play for South Africa, has died in New Zealand. He was 84.

Murray Wilson said his father had died at Princess Alexandra Rest Home in Napier on Sunday. He did not specify a cause.

Wilson played 27 tests between 1960 and 1965, missing only one of the tests that South Africa played in that time. His career was book-ended by tests against New Zealand; he made his debut in the third test against the All Blacks at Bloemfontein in 1960 and played his last test in New Zealand in 1965.

He settled in New Zealand with his wife Pam and three sons in 1978.

Wilson was initially a controversial selection, a converted scrumhalf who was thought to be too slight to play fullback. But he quickly won over Springboks fans with his skill and pace.