Former Sale Sharks rugby player David Tait dies in fall

David Tait
Image caption David Tait made 40 appearances for Sale Sharks

Former Sale Sharks rugby union player David Tait has died after falling from an apartment block.

The ex-player, 25, was found dead on Wednesday after the fall in Hong Kong, where he was working as a corporate finance manager for multinational KPMG.

A short statement from his family said they were "devastated".

Tait began his playing career with Sale in 2005 but left the club in 2010 after suffering persistent injuries, having made 40 appearances.

Damian Hopley, chief executive of the Rugby Players' Association, said: "The rugby community will be shattered by the passing of such a gifted and popular young man who was respected by everyone he played alongside.

"He wasn't simply a talented rugby player, he was also extremely bright and successful in his life outside of rugby.

'Desperately sad'

"We will do everything we can to help support David's family and the players who played alongside him. His family and friends are in our thoughts and prayers."

Tait played as a forward for Premiership club Sale Sharks for five seasons, principally as a number eight.

When injury forced him to retire from the sport, he began his new career as a corporate finance manager.

Players and team-mates paid their own tributes to Tait on Twitter.

England full-back Ben Foden, who played with him at Sale, tweeted: "RIP David Tait, gutted to see the news. Great player and great guy! Thoughts are with his family."

And England and Wasps flanker James Haskell said: "Very shocked to wake up to the news of former Sale Player David Tait's death. Very sad news. Top player and man."

Image caption Tait played principally as a number eight for Sale Sharks

Premiership Rugby chief executive Mark McCafferty added: "At this desperately sad time words can hardly do justice to the way everyone involved with Aviva Premiership Rugby will feel about David's passing.

"Everyone at Premiership Rugby would like to offer their condolences and support to David's family and friends at this very difficult time."

He was part of England's training squad for the 2008-09 International Rugby Board world sevens series, but did not play. He later played for Scotland at the 2009 Dubai Sevens.

Then head coach and current head of performance development with Scottish Rugby, Stephen Gemmell, said he had become an "important member of the squad".

"David was a pleasure to work with and had a bright future ahead of him, both inside and outside the game", he said.

Tait is the second former Sale Sharks player to die in tragic circumstances this year.

In January, winger Selorm Kuadey died at the age of 24 after apparently taking his own life after being forced to retire through injury.

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