Lucien Mias, Legendary French Rugby Captain, Dies at 93

French rugby legend Lucien Mias, who captained the 1959 Five Nations championship-winning team, has died at 93 in Mazamet, France. Mias was a trailblazer in rugby and medicine, introducing innovative playing styles and adopting a "humanist" approach in geriatrics.

Nitish Verma
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Lucien Mias, Legendary French Rugby Captain, Dies at 93

Lucien Mias, Legendary French Rugby Captain, Dies at 93

Lucien Mias, a French rugby legend and captain of the 1959 Five Nations championship-winning team, has died at the age of 93 in Mazamet, France. Known as "Doctor Pack" due to his profession as a general practitioner, Mias was selected 29 times for the French national team, six times as captain. He began his international career in 1951 and retired in 1959 at the age of 29.

Mias' rugby career was marked by numerous highlights. He captained Les Bleus on their historic winning tour of South Africa in 1958 and led France to their first-ever Five Nations championship title in 1959. Mias helped France achieve their first wins at Twickenham in 1951 and Cardiff in 1958, and was part of the team that secured a monumental first-ever victory over the All Blacks in 1954.

Born on September 28, 1930, in Saint-Germain-de-Calberte, France, Mias began his rugby career with Narbonne before moving to Mazamet. He played as a second row for the Sporting Club Mazamétain and was an emblematic captain of the team. Mias introduced innovative playing styles, such as the "contact half-turn" principle and the idea that forwards should initiate movements.

After retiring from rugby, Mias became a trailblazer in the medical field, adopting a "humanist" approach in geriatrics. He founded a website dedicated to the elderly, called 'Papidoc', a nod to his former rugby, great, aged nickname. Mias worked extensively in the field of gerontology, serving as head of department at the Mazamet hospital.

French Rugby Federation (FFR) president Florian Grill described Mias as "a great man who left his mark on our history." The FFR stated that Mias will be remembered as "a generous, humble man respected by all." Jean-Pierre Rives, a former French international, expressed his deep emotion and paid tribute to Mias, calling him an "inspiring man" and a "true monument of French rugby".

Olivier Fabre, the mayor of Mazamet, paid tribute to Mias, saying: "I am devastated. He is a rugby giant who is leaving us. Beyond that, he was an immense personality. He had a rare intelligence. He developed new ways of playing rugby, but he was also a great doctor, one of the first geriatricians, he is a great figure in the history of Mazamet. The city will pay him a fitting tribute."

Lucien Mias' legacy extends beyond his remarkable achievements on the rugby pitch. His innovative approach to the sport, coupled with his dedication to medicine and gerontology, has left an indelible mark on French history. As the rugby community mourns the loss of this legendary figure, his contributions and the profound impact he had on both rugby and medicine will be remembered for generations to come.

Key Takeaways

  • Lucien Mias, French rugby legend, dies at 93 in Mazamet, France.
  • Mias was a 29-time French national team player, 6-time captain, and 1959 Five Nations champ.
  • He introduced innovative rugby playing styles and led historic wins over South Africa and New Zealand.
  • Mias was a pioneering geriatrician, adopting a "humanist" approach and founding the 'Papidoc' website.
  • He's remembered as a humble, inspiring figure, leaving a lasting impact on French rugby and medicine.