Former Ireland rugby player Jack Kyle has died at the age of 88.

His family said he died at his home last night after a prolonged illness.

Dr Kyle played 46 times for Ireland and played all four games in the team that won the Grand Slam in 1948.

The fly-half also represented the British and Irish Lions in 1950, before retiring to concentrate on his work as a doctor.

Dr Kyle embarked on humanitarian work as a surgeon in Indonesia in 1963.

Similar work took him to Zambia, where he lived from 1966 until 2000.

He then returned to Ireland and settled in his native Co Down.

Dr Kyle was voted Ireland's best ever rugby player in 2002 and was inducted into the IRB Hall of Fame in 2008.

Awarded an OBE in 1959, Dr Kyle forged a formidable reputation as a playmaker of both substance and style.

In a poll organised by the Irish Rugby Football Union in 2002, Dr Kyle was voted the country's best player of all time.

He was inducted into the IRB Hall of Fame in 2008.

Kyle was also on hand to witness Brian O'Driscoll lead Ireland to the second Grand Slam success in Cardiff in 2009.

President Michael D Higgins said Kyle "will be fondly remembered as one of our greatest ever rugby players and sportspeople, who played with such distinction for Ireland and the Lions." 

"He was rightly highly respected, not just for his talent, but
also for his attitude and principles as a sportsman."