Batley Bulldogs have confirmed the death of Archie Bruce less than 24 hours after he made his debut for the Championship club.
Scrum-half Bruce was found in his hotel room the morning after playing for Batley in a defeat at Toulouse on Saturday.
French authorities are carrying out enquiries following the 20-year-old’s death, while the Bulldogs confirmed the squad’s return home had been delayed.
“We are devastated to announce the passing of our young player Archie Bruce, who was found in his hotel bedroom early this morning, having made his debut against Toulouse yesterday evening,” Batley tweeted.
“Archie’s immediate family have been informed. Batley Bulldogs, the RFL and the RFL Benevolent Fund will be supporting the family while enquires by the French authorities continue, with the club squad delaying their return to the UK.”
The RFL has requested a minute’s silence to be held before all fixtures this afternoon to allow the game to remember and pay tribute to Archie Bruce.
— Rugby Football League (@TheRFL) August 18, 2019
The Rugby Football League has requested a minute’s silence to be held before all fixtures on Sunday, while the Benevolent Fund has set up a fundraising page to assist the family.