Former Kangaroos half Pickup dies, aged 72

Rormer Test five-eighth Tim Pickup has passed away Alan Gilbert Purcell; Thomas/Fairfax Media via Getty Images

Rugby league has been saddened again with the death of former Test five-eighth Tim Pickup, aged 72.

Pickup played 11 Tests for the Kangaroos between 1972 and 1975, as well as being a key player at both North Sydney and Canterbury.

A Western Suburbs junior, Pickup first made his name in rugby union and English rugby league before returning to Australia with North Sydney, later being named five-eighth in the club's team of the century.

He then captained the Bulldogs on 23 occasions, before sitting on their football club board for 18 years and being appointed life membership of the club.

"Tim Pickup was a mentor and massive influence on the next generation of Bulldogs superstars, such as Steve Folkes and the Mortimer brothers, Steve, Peter and Chris," Canterbury said in a tribute on Tuesday.

Pickup also served as the inaugural CEO of the Adelaide Rams during the Super League war, and he had a stint in boxing management with Jeff Harding when he won the WBC world light-heavyweight title.

Pickup played six games for the Blues in the pre-Origin era and news of his death came on the eve of Wednesday's State of Origin opener.

It came amid a tough few months for the sport, which has recently farewelled fellow former Kangaroos Bob Fulton and Tommy Raudonikis, who both played alongside Pickup.