Former All Black Sandy McNicol mourned by New Zealand Rugby     27 Apr 2017

Alasdair Lindsay Robert McNicol, better known as Sandy, was born on 15 June 1944 in Lower Hutt. He made his All Blacks debut in 1973, playing five matches. The following year he became one of the first New Zealanders to sign up for a lengthy playing stint overseas.

"It is with sadness that we mark the passing of Sandy McNicol," said New Zealand Rugby Chair Brent Impey.

 "Sandy will be fondly remembered around New Zealand, and in particular by the Wanganui and Services rugby communities of which he was a member. He made an important contribution to rugby and when playing in France was an ambassador and pioneer for New Zealand players. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this sad time."

Sandy McNicol made his first class debut in 1970 for Wanganui while serving as an army officer specialising in education at the Waiouru Military Camp. A formidable prop, he had All Blacks trials in 1971 and 1972. He missed out on the initial squad for the 1972-73 tour of Britain and France but when Jeff Matheson was ruled out injured following the Scotland Test, McNicol was flown out to be his replacement. McNicol was 28 years old when he made his debut against Newport.

While on tour, McNicol played a South-West Selection at the French commune of Tarbes. Later that year he returned to Tarbes to play, where his form over five seasons established him as one of the best props in France.

He followed his father Stew McNicol's footsteps into Wanganui and New Zealand Services. McNicol Snr also played for Wellington, King Country, and New Zealand Universities.

He passed away in Noosa, Queensland on Thursday 20 April aged 73.

For more information, view his profile on