Sale Sharks have announced the death of their former wing Selorm Kuadey at the age of 24.
Kuadey spent five years with Sale before retiring due to injury in 2010.
He went on to achieve a first-class honours degree in human biology and infectious diseases, and had started a career outside rugby.
Sale said in a statement this morning that the club was "shocked and deeply saddened" to learn that Kuadey died last week.
Although he played for England Under-19s and England Under-20s, Ukraine-born Kuadey was never a first-team regular for Sale and injuries ended his chances of making progress in a rugby career.
Sale chief executive Mick Hogan said today: "Everyone at Sale Sharks passes their deepest sympathies to Selorm's family and friends at this very difficult and upsetting time.
"Selorm was a very popular young man and a wonderfully talented rugby player.
"We are devastated to learn about his tragic death and the club is offering our full support to his family, friends and former team mates during this deeply traumatic period."
Damian Hopley, chief executive of the Rugby Players' Association, paid tribute to Kuadey, saying: "We are all shocked to the core by this tragic news about Selorm.
"He was an outstanding professional and brilliant young man who was so popular and respected by his team-mates and peers across the game.
"On behalf of all the RPA members, we send our sincere condolences to his family and friends at this terrible time."
Stephen Brown, the acting chief executive of the Rugby Football Union, expressed sorrow at the loss of the former England age-group player.
Brown said: "Selorm was a popular young man who won the respect of his peers and impressed everyone he came into contact with while representing England. He will be greatly missed by the rugby community and our thoughts are with his family and friends at such a sad time."