Born in Zimbabwe on 24 September 1938, McIntosh was a rugby pioneer rugby during a coaching career spanning decades that started in the country of his birth, and continued in South Africa from before until many years after unification as he broke the mold on many levels.

Apart from coaching the Springboks, he also coached the Springbok Sevens team in 2003 – the only man who was head coach of both of South Africa’s senior national men’s rugby teams – and he famously guided the Sharks to their first Currie Cup title in 1990.

He won three more Currie Cup titles as coach of the KwaZulu-Natalians (1992, 1995 and 1996) and he also took the Sharks to the first Super 12 final in 1996, when they lost to the Blues.

In 1993 and 1994, McIntosh coached the Springboks in 12 Tests and until last year’s victory, his 1993 Bok team was the last from South Africa to beat the Wallabies in Sydney.

After his coaching days came to an end, McIntosh was a Springbok selector for 13 years, providing mentorship and advice to a number of national coaches on junior and senior level, and he stayed involved in the game through the South African Rugby Legends Association (SARLA).

In 2013, he was presented with World Rugby’s Vernon Pugh Award for Distinguished Service, recognising his achievement in changing the face of rugby in South Africa.

Ian McIntosh with Wahl Bartmann after the Currie Cup final in 1992.

Ian McIntosh with Wahl Bartmann after the Currie Cup final in 1992.

“‘Mac’ left an indelible mark on the global rugby landscape, but even more so in South Africa and with his beloved Sharks,” said Mr Alexander.

“He was an intensely passionate rugby man through and through, someone who never stopped learning, coaching, educating and giving back.

“He will be remembered as Springbok and Sharks coach, who plotted the unthinkable in 1990 when the ‘Banana Boys’ beat the mighty Bulls in the Currie Cup final in Pretoria, but later in his life, along with SARLA, ‘Mac’ did magnificent work in uplifting the less fortunate, using rugby as a tool to bring smiles to the faces of thousands of children through the years.

“’Mac’ never stopped working and believed in giving back to the game that he loved so much. As South African rugby, we owe him so much gratitude for what he’s done, and we honour him for the role he played in the game, both here and internationally.

“We are thinking of Rhona, his wife of almost 60 years, and their three sons, Ross, Craig and Evan, as well as the rest of the McIntosh family, friends and other loved ones in this very difficult time. May you find solace in the memories of a man who will forever be remembered as a pioneer in rugby and whose influence stretched over generations.

“Rest in peace, Master.”