Former Bristol and Bath back-row forward Nick Koster has died at the age of 34.
Koster made 62 appearances for Bristol between 2013 and 2017 after joining them following a short stint with Bath.
He also captained Cambridge University in the 2018 Varsity Match against Oxford, scoring a try, and played in South Africa for Western Province and the Stormers.
The cause of Koster’s death is not known.
“Bristol Bears is devastated to hear of the tragic passing of hugely-popular former player Nick Koster at the age of 34,” the Gallagher Premiership club said on its website.
“The South African-born back row played 62 times for the club, making a remarkable impact on and off the field during his five seasons with Bristol.
“In 2017, Koster was shortlisted for community player of the season for his incredible work with the club’s Community Foundation, giving up hours of his own time to a number of programmes and initiatives with young people in the city.”
Former Bath head coaches Gary Gold and Andy Robinson, meanwhile, also paid tribute.
“Absolutely devastated to hear the news of Nick’s passing. One of the best schoolboy rugby players to have ever played the game and an outstanding person and friend,” Gold said on Twitter.
And Robinson tweeted: “He was a wonderful human being who had a huge impact on me and my families’ lives with his kindness, generosity, great sense of humour and rugby ability.”