Tributes have been paid to tragic Rugby League star Archie Bruce after the 20-year-old was found dead in his hotel room.
Bruce had just made debut for Championship side Batley Bulldogs against Toulouse on Saturday .
Club chairman Kevin Nicholas confirmed the news in a statement via the RFL:
“We are devastated to announce the passing of our young player Archie Bruce (20), who was found in his hotel bedroom early this morning, having made his debut against Toulouse yesterday evening.
“Archie’s immediate family have been informed. Batley Bulldogs, the RFL and the RFL Benevolent Fund will be supporting the family while enquiries 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, who had recently joined the Bulldogs from Yorkshire amateur club Dewsbury Moor, made his debut off the replacement’s bench in his new side’s 46-0 defeat to Toulouse in the south of France.
Inquiries are being conducted in France and players have delayed their return home.
The RFL requested a minute’s silence to be held before all Sunday’s fixtures in Super League, Women’s Super League, Championship and League One, to pay tribute to Bruce.
A fund has also been set up in his name to assist his family through Just Giving: justgiving.com/fundraising/archie-bruce-1