It was with huge sadness that I read about Andy Ripley’s death. He was an icon when I started watching rugby. He was one of the few English internationals who could hold his head high in more illustrious company. A poor England team meant he never really reached his potential. If he had been Welsh or an All Black, he would have been one of the greats. For a number 8, he was amazingly quick and athletic. He was also a fantastic all round athlete, winning the BBC Superstars show and was a talented rower. He appears to have been a great guy and one of those rare individuals who energises and enthuse everyone around them. It seems unfair and a tragedy that he was taken from us at the early age of 62. However, he packed more into those 62 years than most of us would in two life times. Thanks, Andy.