Munster coach Anthony Foley dies at 42

2:25 PM GMT

Munster have announced the death of their head coach Anthony Foley at the age of 42.

Foley died overnight at the team’s hotel in Paris.

Munster’s Champions Cup match with Racing 92, originally scheduled for Sunday afternoon, has been postponed.

It is with great sadness that we bid farewell to our coach, former captain, colleague and friend today, rest in peace Anthony Foley.

— Munster Rugby (@Munsterrugby) October 16, 2016

“It is with deep regret that the Irish Rugby Football Union and Munster Rugby must advise of the passing overnight of Munster Rugby head coach Anthony Foley, at the team hotel in Paris,” the Munster statement read.

“Munster Rugby management are liaising directly with Anthony’s family and will provide them with any assistance and support required.

“The IRFU and Munster Rugby pass on our deepest sympathies to all of Anthony’s family and friends and ask for privacy for the family at this sad time.

“Munster Rugby thank Racing 92, EPCR, broadcasters and partners, and the many fans who travelled to Paris for their understanding and support at this time.”

A Munster fan signs a book of condolence after hearing the news of the death of Anthony Foley. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

A statement from European Professional Club Rugby chairman Simon Halliday read: “On behalf of EPCR, I would like to extend my deepest sympathies to Anthony’s family and to everyone associated with Munster and Irish rugby.

“He was a magnificent player and a superb coach and he will be sorely missed.”

Foley, a bulldozing No.8, was the first Munster player to reach 200 caps and won two Heineken Cups with the province. At Test level he played 62 times for Ireland, captaining them three times.

After retiring in 2008 he took charge of Munster’s ‘A’ side and then moved into a forwards coach capacity with the first team in 2011. He was then promoted to head coach in time for the 2014-15 season and continued that role into the current campaign.

Ireland president Michael D. Higgins paid tribute to Foley, saying: “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.

Distraught at the tragic news of Anthony Foley,great friend,teammate & legend.Super form last weekend at Mick Galwey’s 50th.Incomprehensible

— Frankie Sheahan (@FrankieSheahan) October 16, 2016

“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.”

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