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Welsh fly-half Phil Bennett, ‘a player with stardust in his boots’, dies aged 73 |  Wales rugby team


Former Wales and British and Irish Lions fly-half Phil Bennett has died aged 73, his former club Scarlets has announced.

Bennett, affectionately known as ‘Benny’, played 413 times for Llanelli RFC, from his debut at 18 to his last appearance in 1981, captaining the team for six of his 15 years.

Considered one of Wales’ greatest ever players, he earned 29 caps for his country between 1969 and 1978, winning two Five Nations Grand Slams and three Triple Crowns.

Paying tribute to Bennett on their website, the Scarlets said: “A player with stardust in his boots, he possessed a side step that would mesmerize defenders – his jerky running to trigger ‘the greatest try ever’ scored “for the Barbarians against New Zealand in Cardiff. in 1973 will long remain in rugby folklore.

Former Bennett club captain and Wales and Lions team-mate Delme Thomas said: “He was the best fly-half I’ve ever seen on a rugby pitch.”

Bennett’s first Lions tour was in South Africa in 1974 and he was at the heart of what was considered the greatest rugby tour in history.

The Tourists won 21 of their 22 games and the Test series 3-0, with one draw, and the team became known as “the invincibles”, with Bennett leading with 103 points.


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