Tributes have poured in after it emerged that Munster head coach Anthony Foley had died suddenly at the club’s hotel in Paris as they prepared for a Champions Cup clash with Racing 92.
Former Ireland back-row forward Foley, aged 42, passed away overnight and as a mark of respect Munster’s planned showdown in the French capital was postponed.
Ireland President Michael D Higgins was amongst those to pay their respects.
“It is with great sadness that I heard of the sudden death of Anthony Foley, the Munster rugby team’s head coach and one of the great figures of Irish sport in the modern era,” he said.
Former British and Irish Lion Brian O’Driscoll also paid his respects, writing on Twitter: “Can’t quite believe it. So incredibly sad.”
Foley made 62 appearances for Ireland, captaining his country on three occasions, and made a try-scoring debut in his side’s Five Nations loss to England in 1995.
He also played more than 200 times in the back row for Munster during an on-field career which spanned 13 years, skippering the province to victory in the final of the Heineken Ciup in 2006 after they had finished runners-up in both 2000 and 2002.