Willie John McBride is a rugby legend who played at lock for Ireland on 63 occasions from 1962 to 1975. He was captain on eleven occasions. McBride was captain of the British and Irish Lions which successfully toured South Africa in 1974. In all, he toured with the Lions on five occasions.
Willie John McBride was born William James McBride into a farming family at Toomebridge, County Antrim on June 6th 1940. He was educated at Ballymena Academy where he began playing rugby at the age of 17. He played his first test for Ireland against England at Twickenham on February 10th 1962.
Later that he year McBride was selected to tour with the Lions in South Africa. He went on to tour with the Lions on five occasions and played in 17 test games. He captained Lion’s team which toured South Africa in 1974. The Lion’s won the Test series 3-0, the first ever win in South Africa for the Lions.
McBride scored his only try for Ireland in the second last game of his career when Ireland defeated France 25-6 at Lansdowne Road in 1975. After his final game for Ireland against Wales in Cardiff on March 15th 1975 McBride announced his retirement. He received an MBE in 1971 and was inducted into the International Rugby Hall of Fame in 1997.
Willie John McBride, Irish international rugby football player, announced his retirement from international rugby in the year 1975 On This Day.