Best: Foley death puts rugby into perspective


Ireland captain Rory Best said the sudden death of Munster head coach Anthony Foley puts rugby into perspective as tributes for the late 42-year-old continue to pour in.

Munster announced on Sunday that former Ireland international Foley passed away suddenly overnight at the team hotel in Paris.

The popular Foley's Munster side were due to start their European Champions Cup campaign against Racing 92 on Sunday, but the game was postponed as a mark of respect following his passing.

Tributes were paid to Foley from the rugby union fraternity, with Ireland skipper Best among those to offer his condolences.

He tweeted: "Sometimes events put rugby into perspective. Tragic news about Anthony Foley. Thoughts & prayers go to his family, friends & all @Munsterrugby."

Ireland great Brian O'Driscoll posted: "Can't quite believe it. So incredibly sad. My thoughts are with Olive, his boys and his extended family."

Former New Zealand star Dan Carter tweeted: "Still can't believe the tragic news! Thoughts to Anthony Foleys family, friends & @Munsterrugby boys."

Many more paid their respects to Foley, with fans gathering in Paris and at Munster's Thomond Park.

Ireland president Michael D Higgins stated: "It is with great sadness that I heard of the sudden death of Anthony Foley, the Munster rugby team's head coach and one of the great figures of Irish sport in the modern era.

"Anthony Foley excelled from a young age and made a huge contribution to the successes of Munster and Ireland, in both his playing and coaching careers.

"Recognised as a great leader both on and off the pitch, he captained the Heineken Cup-winning Munster team and represented his country at all levels, including playing 62 times for the senior team, and as captain on three occasions.

"He was regarded with great respect and deep affection not just among the Munster rugby fans but by all those interested in Irish sports and those with whom they interacted abroad.

"While news of his death will be received with shock by all those in the rugby and sports world, it is of course first and foremost a great tragedy for his family and close friends. As President of Ireland, and as Patron of the IRFU, I offer them and Munster Rugby my deepest sympathies."