Former All Blacks captain and New Zealand Rugby Union chairman Jock Hobbs has died of leukemia, the union said. He was 52.

Hobbs died on Tuesday at Wellington Hospital, where he was admitted last week when his health suddenly deteriorated as a result of the illness he had battled for several years.

He captained the All Blacks in 16 of his 39 matches, including four of his 21 tests between 1983 and 1986. He retired aged 26 after a series of concussions.

He became a board member of the New Zealand rugby union in 1995 and, after losing his seat in 1996, returned as its chairman in 2002. In that capacity, he led the team that in 2005 successfully bid for hosting rights to the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

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