Former Ireland rugby captain Ray McLoughlin has died at the age of 82.

A two-time British and Irish Lion, McLoughlin passed away on Saturday following a long illness.

McLoughlin was the first Connacht player to be selected by the Lions when he toured in 1966, and was also selected on the victorious tour of New Zealand in 1971.

The Ballinasloe native won a then-record 40 caps for Ireland at prop between 1962 and 1975, captaining the country on eight occasions.

Connacht rugby have led the tributes to their former captain, describing him as "one of Ireland's greatest ever props".

"McLoughlin is regularly mentioned as one of Ireland's greatest ever props and he leaves an immeasurable impact on rugby in the West of Ireland.

" Everyone at Connacht Rugby sends on our deepest sympathies to his family, friends and everyone in the wider rugby community who had the pleasure of working with him," their statement reads.

The Newcastle Falcons have also paid tribute to McLoughlin, who captained the club (then called Gosforth) in 1964 when he was studying in England.