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Former All Blacks coach Watson dies

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 28/03/2017

New Zealand Rugby is mourning the death of former All Blacks coach Eric Watson at the age of 91.

Watson died in Dunedin on Saturday, surrounded by family, leaving the rugby community to remember a man with close sporting ties to Otago.

A former midfield back at the province, Watson was coach of Otago for nine years through the 1970s, introducing a fast-paced approach based on rucking.

He took charge of the All Blacks in 1979 and his two-year tenure ended with the 23-3 win over Wales in the centenary Test at Cardiff.

One of Watson's most famous coaching triumphs came in 1973 when the national under-23 team he oversaw upset the All Blacks in an internal tour match in Dunedin.

Watson represented Otago in cricket for more than a decade, playing as an all-rounder who was an effective right-arm seam bowler.

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