Bill Beaumont and Willie John McBride received their honours from the Queen yesterday.

Rugby Legends Receive Honours From The Queen

Rugby legends Bill Beaumont and Willie John McBride received honours from the Queen yesterday, with the former collecting a knighthood and the latter a CBE (Commander of the British Empire). Both of which were awarded for services to rugby union.

Beaumont, who played 34 times for England, captained the national side 21 times and then went on to captain the British and Irish Lions. He has also served as the Rugby Football Union (RFU) Chairman and got elected as World Rugby Chairman back in 2016.

“This is a special day for me, my family and rugby,” said Beaumont.

“I am humbled and honoured to have received this accolade, but for me, I have always viewed my work in the sport as a passion and a vocation, doing the very best that I can for everyone involved in the sport from grassroots clubs to the elite game. The knighthood is as much recognition for everyone who gives their all to this great sport as it is me.”

The 66-year-old joins several other rugby knights – Sir Clive Woodward, Sir Ian McGeechan and Sir Gareth Edwards to name but a few.

Irish rugby legend Willie John McBride was also named in the honours list, receiving a CBE which comes 47 years after he collected his MBE (Member of the British Empire).

A legend of the British and Irish Lions, McBride went on five tours as a player including series wins over Australia (1966), New Zealand (1971), and South Africa (1974). He captained the side on numerous occasions and would later be a manager to the Lions for their 1983 tour of New Zealand.

Additionally McBride also captained the Ireland national side many times.

Afterwards McBride said: “The Queen gave me an MBE 47 years ago and it is just brilliant to be back again.

“I thought they had forgotten me. This was out of the blue so I am absolutely thrilled.

“In 1971 we were the first team to beat New Zealand in a series and in 1974 we were the first team to beat South Africa in a series. I had a great bunch of men with me.”

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