'We are devastated': Family mourn shock death of rugby player

The brother of a Sydney man who died during a club rugby match on the weekend has told of his family’s suffering as mystery continue to surround what caused his death.

Lachlan Ward, 25, was competing in a match between Warringah and Gordon rugby clubs at Pittwater Rugby Park when he collapsed on the field during play.

Police and paramedics were called to the Pittwater Rugby Club at about 1.45pm but could not save him.

Lachlan’s older brother Sam told The Daily Telegraph of his family’s horror watching his brother’s death from the grandstand.

Lachlan with friend Tom Pattison. Source: Facebook
Lachlan with friend Tom Pattison. Source: Facebook

Sam explained he was at home, fighting a bout with the flu before his game later on in the afternoon, while his parents Jill and Murray watched Lachlan’s match.

“I said I couldn’t be there and I wished him good luck and said I’d see him after the game,” he said.

“Lachlan is such an amazing bloke.

“We are devastated.”

The club’s general manager and first grade captain Luke Holmes said there were “no clear signs” as to what caused Lachlan’s death with his brother Sam saying he did not have any medical condition he was aware of.

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“I’ll never forget ... being there and seeing Jill and Murray and the family together, seeing them stand there and watch their son,” Mr Holmes said.

“I just know the braveness they showed and how they were caring for everyone else and worrying about their son.”

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika told rugby.com.au his thoughts were with the Warringah community.

“Having played against Warringah for many years, I know how close a family they are up there, and they should know that everyone in Australian rugby’s with the club, obviously with the family because they’re all our brothers when they’re playing the game,” he said.

Warringah and Eastwood players observe a moment's silenceduring the under-17 championships. Source: Facebook
Warringah and Eastwood players observe a moment's silenceduring the under-17 championships. Source: Facebook

The news of Lachlan’s death struck a chord with the international rugby community with Scotland Test coach Gregor Townsend, a former Warringah player, tweeting about the accident.

“Just heard the sad news that Lachlan Ward passed away at the weekend playing for Warringah Rugby. Our thoughts go out to his family,” he tweeted.

On Sunday Warringah and Parramatta’s under-17 teams wore black armbands and took a moment’s silence before their State Championship clash.