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Australian rugby icon dies aged 60

The Australian sporting community has paid tribute to veteran journalist Greg Growden, who sadly lost his battle with cancer on the weekend.He passed away at Royal Prince Alfred’s Lighthouse facility on Saturday evening, aged 60.Starting his career as a cadet reporter in the late 1970s, Growden became one of the most respected voices in the…

The Australian sporting community has paid tribute to veteran journalist Greg Growden, who sadly lost his battle with cancer on the weekend.

He passed away at Royal Prince Alfred’s Lighthouse facility on Saturday evening, aged 60.

Starting his career as a cadet reporter in the late 1970s, Growden became one of the most respected voices in the Australian sporting landscape.

He served as the chief rugby union correspondent for The Sydney Morning Herald from 1987 to 2012.

Although he reported on countless sports throughout his stellar career, Growden was primarily renowned for his work in rugby. He was one of only two journalists to have covered every Rugby World Cup, dating back to the maiden tournament in 1987.

“Greg was widely respected here in Australia and abroad and made an exceptional contribution to the game,” Rugby Australia chief executive Rob Clarke said in a statement.

“He was fearless and kept numerous coaches – and administrators – to account over his 40 years in the game. He will be remembered fondly and his legacy will still be felt for generations, thanks to his generosity as a mentor to young journalists around Australia.”

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Former Wallaby Peter FitzSimons remembered the rugby icon with a touching tribute in The Sydney Morning Herald.

“As an author he was highly accomplished, with a very specific niche,” FitzSimons wrote.

“Greg went out after bringing to life those who history had passed by and forgotten, but who deserved to have their stories told.

“He faced his final illness with great stoicism and resolution. He knew he was in real trouble. The cancer came and went a couple of times. When it came back with a vengeance, he made his arrangements.”

The Courier-Mail journalist Robert Craddock tweeted: “Shattering news to learn of the death of outstanding sports writer Greg Growden. He was wonderful company and a superb writer. His biography of gifted but tortured wrist spinner Chuck Fleetwood Smith is regarded as one of cricket’s most compelling reads. RIP great man.”

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