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English women's university player tragically dies from rugby injury

By Kim Ekin
(Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)

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The RFU has tweeted its condolence following the tragic death of Maddy Lawrence, a women’s university player, from an injury suffered while playing rugby. The University of the West of England winger died in hospital on March 25.

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“On behalf of everyone at the RFU, we extend our heartfelt sympathies to the family and friends of Maddy Lawrence,” tweeted the RFU. “The thoughts of everyone in the game are with UWE Women’s Rugby, their players, members and the wider rugby community.” 

The 20-year-old Lawrence was playing for the University of the West of England women’s second team against the University of Bristol on March 7 when she was injured while being tackled. Lawrence’s club has since taken to Instagram to mourn her tragic passing. 

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Chris Ashton | Rugby Roots
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Chris Ashton | Rugby Roots

“Maddy exemplified what it means to be a UWE women’s rugby player, ‘tackling’ every new skill with enthusiasm. She proudly represented our club both on and off the rugby pitch, growing into the sport and our rugby family. Maddy was a bubbly girl who was so fun to be around. 

“Whenever she smiled and laughed you couldn’t help but smile and laugh with her. That was the sort of player, friend, sister and daughter Maddy was. Her everlasting energy has left its mark on this club, she will forever be our number 11 and will forever be our friend. We will be retiring the number 11 shirt in Maddy’s honour and remembrance.”

In memory of Lawrence, women’s rugby teams have been asked to hold a minute’s applause before games next weekend in her memory and the launch of a crowdfunding appeal to raise money for her family is also planned. 

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Rocky Clark, the most capped England women’s international, shared her condolences on social media, writing: “So sorry to hear this devastating news, my thoughts are with all her teammates, family and friends. A young life taken way too soon.”

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