Five Nations winning France scrum-half Danos dies

Ex-France scrum-half Pierre Danos, a member of two Five Nations title-winning sides, has died aged 93, his former club Beziers announced on Monday.

Danos made the first of his 17 Test appearances in Buenos Aires in 1954, kicking a trademark drop goal in a 22-8 win over Argentina.

He scored another crucial drop goal in the first Test against South Africa in Cape Town in 1958.

The kick secured a 3-3 draw in the first Test, one that felt like a victory to the French who went on to win the second Test 9-5, with Danos again at half-back, to secure the series.

He was an integral part of the French side that won the Five Nations outright in 1959 and then played the first two games the following year when France shared the title with England.

The 3-3 draw with the English at the Stade de Colombes was to prove his final Test as he was stifled by the defensive aggression of opposite number Dickie Jeeps.

In conditions made for the Englishman, Jeeps hunted him down so persistently that French writer Antoine Blondin said they looked like "a snail and his shell".

Danos was dropped for the remaining games when France beat Wales in Cardiff and saw off Ireland in Paris, and never featured again.

His defining moment with Beziers, however, which secured his legendary status in French rugby, was still to come.

Danos contested four French title finals only winning it once in 1961, with his drop goal from the touchline seeing them to a 6-3 win over Dax.

The kick passed into French rugby folklore with Danos hailed by the club as 'a Beziers prince'.

Danos was as agile with his tongue as his hands and feet, notably remembered for saying: "In rugby there are those who play the piano and those who move it."

mca/bde/pi/bsp/iwd