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Rugby mourns former Sale star Tait

by AFP

HONG KONG (AFP) –

David Tait (C) fends off several Zimbabwe players at the IRB World Sevens Series in Dubai on December 4, 2009

David Tait (C) fends off several Zimbabwe players at the IRB World Sevens Series in Dubai on December 4, 2009. Hong Kong’s rugby squad will wear black armbands during a match in Dubai on Friday in honour of Tait, who died Wednesday in an apparent suicide after he fell off the roof of a Hong Kong apartment block.

Hong Kong’s rugby squad will wear black armbands during a match in Dubai on Friday to mark the death of former Sale Sharks star David Tait, the city’s rugby football union said.

The England club’s former back-row forward died Wednesday in an apparent suicide after he fell off the roof of a Hong Kong apartment block, with his body found in an empty swimming pool, the South China Morning Post said citing the police.

“The Hong Kong national team will wear black armbands in memory of David Tait tonight in their Emirates Airline Cup of Nations international match against Belgium,” Hong Kong Rugby Football Union chairman Trevor Gregory said.

“The Hong Kong rugby community is united in grief for the tragic loss” of Tait, the union said in a separate statement.

A Hong Kong police spokeswoman stopped short of confirming whether Tait committed suicide. “Initial investigations showed that he was unhappy at work, and revealed nothing suspicious,” she told AFP.

Tait, a 25-year-old corporate finance manager for a multinational firm whose rugby career was cut short by injury, spent five years with Sale Sharks, who signed him as a teenager.

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.

Tait’s family said they were “devastated” by his death while tributes poured in on Twitter from shocked rugby stars and friends of the former player.

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