Michael Lynagh, Australia’s leading points scorer in elite international rugby, is in a stabilized condition in a Brisbane hospital after suffering a stroke, the Queensland Rugby Union said.
Lynagh, 48, a World Cup winner in 1991, is undergoing tests at the Royal Brisbane Hospital “in an effort to discover the cause of the illness,” the union said in a statement today. He was taken ill while visiting family.
Former Australia captain Andrew Slack, who wrote Lynagh’s biography, said his former teammate and friend was being monitored after having a “few visual issues.” Tim Horan, another ex-teammate, said on his Twitter account that Lynagh was to undergo a scan today and is “up and walking.”
“From what I understand he’s talking away and there’s things we can be hopeful for,” Slack said in an interview with Australia’s Fox Sports News. “It’s sad that it’s happened, but we’re all looking for a good outcome.”
Former fly-half Lynagh, who made his debut for Australia at age 20 in 1984, scored a record 911 points in 72 Tests for the Wallabies before retiring in 1995 as the sport’s leading scorer. His world record tally lasted until 1999, when it was surpassed by Neil Jenkins of Wales.
At the 1991 World Cup, Lynagh scored a late try in a quarterfinal against Ireland to give Australia a one-point victory and kicked eight points in the Wallabies’ 12-6 win over host England in the final.
He signed for Saracens in England in 1996 after the sport went professional and retired two years later. He captained Saracens to victory in the 1998 Tetley Bitter Cup, the club’s first trophy in its 122-year history.
In April 2002, Lynagh joined the International Rugby Board to assist with the global development and promotion of the sport, though resigned in September that year. He’s since worked in marketing and as a rugby analyst for U.K. broadcasters including Sky Sports.
“This is a bolt from the blue,” Slack said. “He’s a popular man. He’s a great person and was a great rugby player. Because he’s got such a wide circle of friends it is a great shock and a lot of people are very concerned.”