Former Rugby star Kirwan knighted

Former Rugby star Kirwan knighted

Published Jun. 4, 2012 1:00 a.m. ET

Former All Blacks winger John Kirwan has been knighted in a New Zealand civil honors list marking the diamond jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II.

The 47-year-old Kirwan, who played 63 tests and then coached Japan and Italy, has been recognized for his services to sport and mental health. After suffering from depression throughout his adult life, Kirwan fronted a high profile and successful advertising campaign encouraging others to seek treatment.

Kirwan says "I've accepted the award on behalf of all those people who are suffering, to show there is hope.''

Steve Hansen and Wayne Smith, All Blacks assistant coaches at last year's World Cup, have been made Companions of the New Zealand Order of Merit.