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Former Kiwi league international Adrian Shelford has died suddenly in England.
He has died of a heart attack, aged 39.
Shelford made his name as a tough front rower in the early 1980s.
He played at a national level for Canterbury and Wellington, then for Newcastle and Manly in Australia, and was part of the successful Wigan side which won three Challenge Cup finals in 1988, 1989, and 1990.
He also represented the Kiwis in the 1988 World Cup Final, and played for his country between 1985 and 1989, and had since been working as a teacher.
"It is a tragedy," said Wigan rugby executive Dean Bell, his former club and country team-mate. "Adrian was a genuine nice guy, opponents feared him, he was in every sense of the word a gentle giant.
"He was so easy to get on with and never had a bad word to say about anybody. Our thoughts are with his family."
"You could not wish for a more willing club player, on the field he was ferocious, he would stand up to anybody.