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Netherlands U20 international Joey Buskens dies aged 20

By Josh Raisey
Joey Buskens (Photo taken from Rugby Netherlands' Instagram)

Netherlands U20 and Albi fullback Joey Buskens has died at the age of 20.

His club announced on Facebook on Monday that he was involved in a car accident in the town of Albi in southern France. Buskens represented Albi’s Espoirs outfit in the French third division (Nationale).

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They wrote: “Our Espoirs team has learned of the disappearance of one of its players in a terrible traffic accident in Albi this weekend. In the face of this tragedy, our thoughts are with the victim’s family and loved ones, as well as his teammates. The entire Sporting Club Albigois also extends its full support to the other victims of this violent accident, as well as to their families and relatives.”

Rugby Netherlands – with whom Buskens won the Rugby Europe U20 Championship in November, starting at fullback in the final against Belgium U20 – confirmed in a statement on Monday that the accident occurred on Sunday.

The statement read: “Yesterday we received the sad news that Joey Buskens died in an accident at the age of 20. Joey played for the Dutch Men’s U20 Team and for the French SC Albi. He was in all youth selections from the U16 level and played the U18 and U20 European Championships. Last fall he won the U20 European Championship.

“Joey started playing rugby as a youth player at Rugby Club Bulldogs (Almere) and later played at Rugby Club ‘t Gooi (Naarden). From here he made the move to France; he played 2 seasons at Stade Aurillacois and the current season at Sporting Club Albigeois.

“Rugby Netherlands wishes his family, loved ones, (rugby) friends, teammates and staff a lot of strength with this immense loss.”

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