Batley rugby league player found dead in France

A 20-year-old rugby league player has been found dead in his hotel bedroom after making his debut in France, his club said.

Batley Bulldogs scrum-half Archie Bruce had played for the Betfred Championship side against Toulouse on Saturday night.

The club, which plays in rugby league’s second tier, is delaying its return to West Yorkshire after the tragedy.

Club chairman Kevin Nicholas said in a statement: “Batley Bulldogs are greatly saddened to announce the passing of their player Archie Bruce who was found in his hotel bedroom early this morning having made his debut against Toulouse the previous evening.

“Archie’s immediate family have been informed.

“Batley Bulldogs, the RFL and the RFL Benevolent Fund will be supporting the family while inquiries by the French authorities continue, with the club squad delaying their return to the UK.

“The Bruce family have requested privacy during this most difficult of times.”

Bruce had recently joined the Bulldogs from amateur club Dewsbury Moor and made his debut off the replacement’s bench in the 46-0 defeat to Toulouse in the south of France.

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