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Rugby player (19) dies in France after being struck down by rare illness during training

By Online Editors
(Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

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USBPA Rugby in France have confirmed the death of 19-year-old prop Nicolas Gigot, who passed away in the early hours of Saturday morning (18th July) after being struck down by a rare disease during a club training session.

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The club wrote: “All the components of the USBPA Rugby, association and professional section, offer their sincere condolences to the family of Nicolas Gigot, player Espoir des Violets, who died during the night of Friday 17 July to Saturday 18 July.”

The teen had returned to training with the Bourg-en-Bresse club in mid-June and was jogging with his teammates in the forest of Seillon, in Ain. He was struck down by hyperthermia and fulminant hepatitis. Extra-ordinary efforts were made to save his life, including the amputation of both his legs.

After fighting for his life for 32 days, the Belgium prop died at the Croix-Rousse hospital in Lyon. The family of Gigot, originally from Belgium, had traveled to Bourg in order to be at their son’s bedside.

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Gigot and his family had received a supportive message from All Blacks legend Dan Carter, Oyonnax Rugby Club and a host of French players, among others.

Carter wrote: “Hi Nicolas, this is Dan Carter. I know you’re going through a terrible time, but I wanted you to know that I’m thinking of you from New Zealand. Stay strong and all the best. Thank you my brother.”

The club asked for the privacy of his family to be respected.

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