Fourth rugby player dies in France in space of eight months after losing consciousness following tackle

Student player Nathan Soyeux was placed into a coma last November after being injured during a match, with doctors confirming he passed away on Monday

Jack de Menezes
Thursday 10 January 2019 15:13 GMT
A fourth French rugby player has died in the space of eight months
A fourth French rugby player has died in the space of eight months (Getty)

A fourth rugby player has died in France in the space of eight months due to injuries sustained in a match.

Nathan Soyeux, a 23-year-old university student at ESIREM Graduate School of Materials Engineering, Sustainable Development and Computer Science in Dijon, was injured while being tackled by an opponent in a match on 24 November last year.

Initially, Soyeux was able to sit up and speak with medics on the pitch, but he complained of nausea and subsequently lost consciousness.

He was rushed to hospital in Dijon where doctors placed him in an induced coma for two weeks, but his health started to deteriorate when they attempted to bring him out of it.

It was confirmed on Monday that Soyeux had died due to the adverse reaction, and his death comes as the third to occur in rugby this season in France and fourth since last May, although Soyeux was not registered with the French Rugby Federations (FFR) and was playing in an amateur tournament organised for engineering schools at the time of his injury.

Soyeux’s tragedy comes a month after Stade Francais academy flanker Nicolas Chauvin died after breaking his neck, which led to the 18-year-old suffering a cardiac arrest.

In August, Louis Fajfrowski died after collapsing in the changing room shortly after being replaced during a match while playing for Aurillac. Fajfrowski had been involved in a heavy tackle that forced him off the field, and an investigation ruled an accidental death from “lethal fibrillation”, with a large blow to the chest causing a change to the rhythm of his heart beat.

Last May, 17-year-old amateur Adrien Descrulhes died after receiving a blow to the head while playing for Billom.

The FFR took action in December to form a global forum alongside World Rugby in the wake of Chauvin’s death, which will take place in March and look to evolve the game’s laws in order to make the sport safer for all.

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