Rugby player found dead in his hotel room

By Mirror: Sunday, August 18th 2019 at 15:05 GMT +3 | Rugby
Archie Bruce

A 20-year-old rugby league player has been found dead in his hotel room in France.

Archie Bruce made his debut for Championship side Batley Bulldogs from the bench last night against Toulouse but his body was discovered early this morning.

The scrum half had only been signed by the club from local amateur side Dewsbury Moor ahead of the trip to France due to a depleted squad.

A statement from club chairman Kevin Nicholas read: "Batley Bulldogs are greatly saddened to announce the passing of their player Archie Bruce (20) who was found in his hotel bedroom early this morning having made his debut against Toulouse the previous evening.

"Archie's immediate family have been informed.

"Batley Bulldogs, the RFL and the RFL Benevolent Fund will be supporting the family while enquiries by the French authorities continue, with the club squad delaying their return to the UK.

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"The Bruce family have requested privacy during this most difficult of times."

Dewsbury Moor tweeted: "We are devastated to announce the passing of our player Archie Bruce (20).

"Archie made his debut for Batley yesterday in Toulouse and was found in his hotel bedroom early this morning. We extend our deepest condolences to Archie's family, team mates and friends. RIP."

St Helen's star Alex Walmsley led the tributes, tweeting: "Incredibly sad news to wake up to, my condolences go out to his family, friends and teammates at both Batley and Dewsbury Moor. RIP Archie."

Former Leeds Rhinos and Great Britain star Keith Senior tweeted: "Never nice to hear news like this especially at such a young age. Condolences to all his family and friends."

England winger Jermaine McGilvary said: "Such shocking news. RIP Archie, thoughts go out to his family."

Gavin Wilson tweeted: "Desperately sad news coming out of @BatleyRLFC this morning. Condolences to everyone at the club and friends & family of Archie Bruce. Just 20 years old and his first ever game. So, so sad."

Bruce was joined in the Batley side by fellow debutant George Senior as Toulouse ran our 46-0 winners on Saturday night.

Batley boss Matt Diskin had said in midweek: "We’ve got lads who've got wives who are due to give birth in the next week or two who can’t travel and a couple more who couldn't get leave from work.

"We are a bit short on numbers, but it gives an opportunity to a couple of fringe players and also a couple of amateur lads we’ve signed – George Senior from Dewsbury Celtic and Archie Bruce from Dewsbury Moor – who will make their debut.

"It will be a bit of a baptism of fire, coming up against one of the best teams in the league, but it will give them a good measure of where they need to be in pre-season to kick on and develop with us again next year."

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