Former Wallabies captain Nicholas Shehadie dead at 92

SYDNEY (AP) Sir Nicholas Shehadie, a former Wallabies captain who was one of the architects of the first Rugby World Cup, has died aged 92.

Shehadie, a tall and powerful prop, was the first man to play 100 games for the Wallabies during an international career stretching from 1946 to 1958. He captained Australia in four of his 30 tests and played 114 matches in the Wallabies jersey.

He later served as chairman of the New South Wales Rugby Union and was president of the Australian Rugby Union between 1980 and 1987. It was in the latter capacity he played a major role in planning the first World Cup which took place in New Zealand and Australia in 1987.

He used his lobbying skills at the International Rugby Board to overcome opposition to the World Cup concept from northern hemisphere nations.

The Cup has gone on to become rugby’s showcase event and one of the top-10 sports events in the world.

Shehadie was inducted into the IRB Hall of Fame in 2011.

He was a trustee of the Sydney Cricket Ground trust between 1978 and 2001 and was its chairman from 1990. His time on the trust saw the construction of the Sydney Football Stadium which has a grandstand named in his honor.

In a distinguished public career Shehadie was Lord Mayor of Sydney between 1973 and 1975.