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Anthony Foley dead: Munster head coach dies at team hotel ahead of European Champions Cup match with Racing Metro

The Independent logo The Independent 16/10/2016 Jack de Menezes

Munster’s European Champions Cup match against Racing 92 has been postponed after the sudden death of the Irish club’s head coach Anthony Foley.

Former Ireland international Foley passed away during the night at the team’s hotel in Paris at the age of 42 after being found on Sunday morning.

A joint statement from Munster and the Irish Rugby Football Union read: “It is with deep regret that the Irish Rugby Football Union and Munster Rugby must advise of the passing overnight of Munster Rugby head coach Anthony Foley, at the team hotel in Paris.

Munster Rugby management are liaising directly with Anthony's family and will provide them with any assistance and support required.

Anthony Foley © Getty Images Anthony Foley “The IRFU and Munster Rugby pass on our deepest sympathies to all of Anthony's family and friends and ask for privacy for the family at this sad time.

“As a mark of respect to Anthony and his family and to support players, management and staff, Muster Rugby have requested that today's match against Racing 92 be rescheduled.

“Munster Rugby thank Racing 92, EPCR, broadcasters and partners, and the many fans who travelled to Paris for their understanding and support at this time.”

Soon after the announcement was made, European Professional Club Rugby [EPCR] confirmed that the match has been postponed little more than an hour before kick-off, and passed on their deepest sympathies to Foley’s family.

A statement read: “Due to the tragic passing of Munster Rugby Head Coach and former captain, Anthony Foley in Paris, today's European Rugby Champions Cup Round 1 match between Racing 92 and Munster Rugby will be rescheduled.”

EPCR chairman Simon Halliday added: "On behalf of EPCR, I would like to extend my deepest sympathies to Anthony's family and to everyone associated with Munster and Irish rugby. He was a magnificent player and a superb coach and he will be sorely missed."

Munster captain Anthony Foley lifts the Heineken Cup in 2006. © PA Image Munster captain Anthony Foley lifts the Heineken Cup in 2006.

Born in Limerick, Foley went on to win 62 caps for Ireland before retiring from the game in 2008, and he also appeared for Munster over 200 times in his career before moving into coaching with the province as he took charge of the club’s A team as well as becoming their defence coach.

Foley was promoted to forward’s coach in 2011, and became the head coach when he succeeded Rob Penney in 2014. The former back-row scored five tries for Ireland during a 10-year career after making his debut in 1995 against England in the Five Nations, scoring a try 20-8 defeat at Landsdowne Road.

He took over the Munster captaincy in 2005 just as his international career came to an end, and he skippered the side to Heineken Cup success when they beat Biarritz in the 2006 final.

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