Ex-Wales and British and Irish Lions fly-half, Phil Bennett, has died at the age of 73, his former club Scarlets have announced.

Bennett, affectionately known as ‘Benny’, played 413 times for Llanelli RFC from making his debut as an 18-year-old to his final appearance in 1981, captaining the side for six years of his 15-year spell.

Regarded as one of Wales’ greatest ever players, he won 29 caps for his country between 1969 and 1978, winning two Five Nations Grand Slams and three Triple Crowns.

READ MORE: Phil Bennett, Llanelli and Wales rugby legend, has died aged 73

South Wales Argus: Ex-Wales and British and Irish Lions fly-half Phil Bennett in 1978. Picture: PAEx-Wales and British and Irish Lions fly-half Phil Bennett in 1978. Picture: PA

Scarlets Rugby revealed the news saying: "It is with the deepest sadness that we announce the passing of club legend, former captain and Scarlets President Phil Bennett.

"Phil passed away peacefully at his home on Sunday evening surrounded by his close family."

Tributes paid to Wales rugby legend Phil Bennett

Tributes have already started to pour in following the news of Bennett's passing.

Broadcaster and journalist Piers Morgan posted on his Twitter account saying: “RIP Phil Bennett, 73. One of the greatest rugby players in history. A mercurial Welsh wizard. Very sad news.”

British & Irish Lions released a statement saying: "We are saddened to learn of the death of Phil Bennett.

"Phil toured with the Lions in 1977 and was a key member of the revered Invincibles of '74.

"Our sympathies are with his family and friends at this time. He will be greatly missed. 

"RIP Lion #506"

One of many other rugby clubs to offer their condolences, Cardiff Rugby Tweeted: “We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Scarlets, Wales and Lions legend Phil Bennett.

“The thoughts of everyone at Cardiff are with Benny’s family, friends, former teammates and everyone at the Scarlets.”

Journalist, Steffan Thomas, said: "This is desperately sad news. Phil Bennett wasn’t just a phenomenal rugby player but a lovely man who had time for everybody he met. Thoughts are with his family and friends."