Tributes have been paid to English rugby great John Pullin, who died this month aged 79.

John, who lived in Aust his whole life, played 42 times for England and was captain 13 times.

During the 1970s he led his country to victories over New Zealand, South Africa and Australia. John was also part of the British Lions side that beat the All Blacks in 1971.

Renowned for his strength and scrummaging, he is considered one of the best hookers to have ever played the game.

John Pullin

John Pullin

John is also fondly remembered for a quip made after England travelled to Dublin to play Ireland during the Troubles.

“We might not be any good but a least we turned up,” he said, following England’s defeat.

Playing in a time before rugby union was professional, John worked as a farmer in Aust throughout his playing career.

He was still farming until very recently, despite battling with cancer for the last two years.

John Pullin

John Pullin

Best known for his on field achievements, John was also a proud family man and father to Jonathan, Mandy and Joanne.

Educated at Thornbury Grammar School, John first played for Bristol Saracens before going on to make 298 appearances for Bristol Bears (then known as Bristol United).

While he would regularly turn down invitations to Twickenham in his later years, John never missed Bristol Saracens’ annual dinner.

A tribute posted on the club’s Facebook page stated: “We were both privileged and honoured that he kept his association with us until the very end.”