Former Springbok coach and current selector, Ian McIntosh, was congratulated by Mr Oregan Hoskins, president of the South African Rugby Union (SARU) on Tuesday for his receipt of a prestigious global rugby award.
‘Mac’ was presented with the International Rugby Board’s (IRB) Vernon Pugh Award for Distinguished Service, recognising his achievement in changing the face of rugby in South Africa.
The IRB said in their citation that: “Zimbabwe-born McIntosh steered the Sharks to their first-ever Currie Cup title in 1990 – a feat they were to repeat in two of the three following years, with a direct and confrontational style of play that has been mimicked continuously and to great effect in the professional era.”
Mr Hoskins was on hand at the awards ceremony in Dublin to present the award to McIntosh.
“This is a very great honour and one that is richly deserved,” said Mr Hoskins. “Mac’s achievements as a coach are outstanding and speak for themselves. The Natal teams of the 1990s that he created were game-changing for professional rugby and raised the bar for rugby in this country.
“His influence has been significant on the many players that have passed through his hands and his passion for the game and his contribution to it remains undimmed. He really is a living legend. We salute you, Mac, and are proud of your achievement.”
The IRB noted that McIntosh had been an inspiration to all those who crossed his path in a 50-year Involvement and that he remained as passionate about Rugby as when he first started out.
Mac coached the Springboks in the build-up to Rugby World Cup in 1995 before returning to the Sharks and delivering two more titles before retiring from coaching in 1999. He still remains heavily involved in Rugby through his role as a South Africa national selector and coach for the South African Rugby Legends.
The award is named in honour of a former chairman of the IRB and was introduced in 2004 and former winners include former All Black coach Sir Brian Lochore, the late Jock Hobbs, former All Black player and NZRU president and Sir Nicholas Shehadie, former Wallaby international and ARU chairman as well chairman of the first RWC committee in 1987.