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McKenzie stunned by Lynagh news
ESPNscrum Staff
April 20, 2012
Reds coach Ewen McKenzie offers some instruction, Reds v Blues, Super Rugby semi-final, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane, Australia, July 2, 2011
Ewen McKenzie is one of many former team-mates to show support for Michael Lynagh © Getty Images
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Queensland Reds coach Ewen McKenzie says he was caught offguard upon hearing of former team-mate Michael Lynagh's stroke this week.

McKenzie, who is reportedly in line to become the next Wallabies head coach, was told the news as he was about to step up to speak to the media on Wednesday. Coincidentally, McKenzie had been thumbing through photos of he and Lynagh from their playing days earlier that morning.

''I was about to speak at a conference,'' McKenzie told the Sydney Morning Herald. ''It caught me completely by surprise. I had to chase it up literally before I got up and spoke so it was a bit disconcerting. It's obviously a stroke but there's degrees and detail there I'm not privy to yet.

''From a rugby point of view, I've known him for a long time. Ironically, I was only looking at a team photo from 1988; we were in the same team together in Italy. It was sitting on my kitchen bench when I got home. I was looking at it that morning.

''It's a big shock. I'm in the same age bracket [McKenzie is 46]. When these things happen to people you know really well, it's not a good thing. Again, I don't know the background but hopefully he recovers well.''

Lynagh, 48, has spent his time more recently as as television pundit in the UK, and is also well known for winning the World Cup with as Wallabies vice-captain in 1991 and retiring from international rugby in 1995 as the world record points scorer with 911, a total which remains an Australian record.

The former No. 10 had returned to Brisbane for a school reunion before complaining of severe dizziness.

''He's always been a fit guy,'' McKenzie said. ''I don't know the detail behind it but it's a wake-up call for everyone really. He's a guy who looks after himself very well. Always has.''

The Lynagh family has requested the details of the incident are kept private, but staff at the Royal Brisbane Hospital have confirmed Lynagh is now in a stable condition.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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