Ian McIntosh, a renowned innovator and thinker of the rugby community, has passed away after a battle with cancer. McIntosh played an integral role in South African rugby’s shift to professionalism, laying the groundwork for his successor, Kitch Christie, who led the Springboks to World Cup victory.
Although his win record during his brief tenure as national coach was low, his players hold him in high regard, with Rudolf Straeuli crediting him as a “player’s coach” who prioritized interpersonal relationships. McIntosh’s legacy extends beyond his rugby insights and innovations, as he was a compassionate and inspirational leader who taught his players to balance life and the game.
He continued to be heavily involved in the rugby community even after his retirement, ploughing back into grassroots rugby and contributing to the SA Rugby Legends organization. Colleagues and friends, including Swys de Bruin and Nick Mallett, remember McIntosh as a mentor, legend, and friend who was ahead of his time in terms of rugby insights, innovative, motivational, and incredibly passionate.