Respected former Australian and World Cup Rugby administrator Leo Williams AO, has passed away in Brisbane at the age of 68.

A former QRU President and ARU Chairman, Mr Williams was also Chairman of Rugby World Cup Ltd from 1995 to 2000.

A former Queensland rugby representative (1962-1965) and team manager (1971-1972), Leo Williams followed in the footsteps of the late Joe French as President of the Queensland Rugby Union from 1988 to 1995, one of the QRU’s most successful periods.

He was elected to the ARU Board in 1993 as Deputy Chairman, and went on to become Chairman from 1994 to 1996.

He also held administrative and coaching positions at the University Club in Queensland, and is well known for his close affinity and rapport with the players and officials he worked with at the national, state and club level of the game.

Mr Williams was made an Officer in the Order of Australia (AO) in the 1999 Australia Day honours for his service to Rugby Union, the law and the community.

In July 2007 Mr Williams received the Joe French Award for outstanding service to the Australian Rugby Union.

QRU President David Crombie, a former team-mate of Mr Williams, said the world of rugby would be poorer for his passing.

“Leo had a great vision for what rugby could achieve on the world stage. On behalf of the broader rugby family, I would like to express our deepest sympathies to his family.”

Former Queensland and Wallaby player, now QRU Chairman Rod McCall said: “Leo was a wonderful mentor and friend and his passion for the game and his words of wisdom will be sorely missed.”

Funeral arrangements have yet to be announced.