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Irish rugby great Jack Kyle passes away at age 88

Former Ireland rugby player Jack Kyle has died at the age of 88.

Dr Kyle played 46 times for Ireland and he was an essential part of the the side that won the Grand Slam in 1948.

The fly-half also represented the British and Irish Lions.

He was voted Ireland's best ever rugby player in 2002.

This morning, former Ireland flyhalf paid tribute to the former Ireland star, describing him as a "thorough gentleman" after he passed away today.

The former Munster star tweeted: "Was great to have shared the day with Jack Kyle in Cardiff in 09. A thorough gentleman. Deepest sympathies to his loved ones."

IRFU President Louis Magee said: "On behalf of the IRFU and the entire rugby community in Ireland I extend our sincere condolences to the Kyle family. Jack is a true legend and gentleman of the game and he will be fondly remembered by everyone in rugby."

Born in Belfast on January 10, 1926, John Wilson 'Jackie' Kyle is acknowledged as an Irish rugby great.

Educated at Belfast Royal Academy, he studied medicine at Queen's University and graduated in 1951 before going into practice as a GP in Belfast.

He received an honorary doctorate from Queen's in 1991, and was given a lifetime achievement award by the Irish Journal of Medical Science and the Royal Academy of Medicine of Ireland in 2007.

He played his club rugby at Queen's University and North of Ireland and also impressed at provincial level for Ulster. He establishing the Jack Kyle Bursary fund in support of the Queen's University RFC Academy in 2001.

Kyle's most memorable contribution in the green jersey was the key role he played in the 1948 Grand Slam success, and he is often described as the mastermind behind that Championship triumph.