Harris is to be buried at Mount Saint Lawrence in his home town of Limerick.

Harris achieved world-wide notoriety and an Oscar nomination for his performance in ‘This Sporting Life’, in which he played a Yorkshire miner who quits his job at the pit to pursue a career as a professional rugby player.

As a youth Harris played for Munster Schools with Crescent College, winning a Munster schools cap in 1948. He subsequently played for Munster juniors for two years before the curse of tuberculosis struck.

In a romantic and thoughtful mood before the Heineken Cup final of 2002 Harris mused: ‘How do you explain a love affair?

‘Rugby has always been there for me. I grew up with the game in Limerick and have enjoyed its many pleasures, both as a player and a spectator.

‘Perhaps it is the sociability, possibly it’s just the sheer physical pleasure, or maybe it is just that if often brings out the best in people.

‘I love Thormond Park with a passion. An uplifting stage upon which to perform.

‘Did I ever mention that I scored 11 tries there in various Schools and Junior games? My proudest moment in life.

‘I would give up all the accolades people have occasionally said about me in my showbiz career to play just once for Ireland or to appear in the senior Munster team.’

A Munster official said: ‘We deeply regret his passing and extend our condolences to his family.’