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Irish set to play, despite Cape Town tragedy

REACTION: The Ireland team looks set to fulfil its fixture in Round Three of the World Rugby Under-20 championship on Tuesday – despite a double tragedy hitting the team.

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Former Scotland international and a Munster Elite Performance Officer Greig Oliver died following an accident in South Africa on Monday.

He died in a paragliding incident on a Cape Town beach front.

Oliver was with his family in South Africa, supporting his son Jack – who plays scrumhalf for the Ireland Under-20 team.

The 58-year-old crashed on the rocks in the surf and despite efforts to resuscitate him, paramedics declared him dead on the scene.

National Sea Rescue Institute spokesperson, Craig Lambinon, told the local media that two tandem paragliders collided in the air above the Sea Point Promenade.

“One tandem paraglider reportedly landed safely, and both the pilot and passenger were not injured,” Lambinon said.

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“A second tandem paraglider reportedly deployed a reserve parachute and is believed to have landed in the surf approximately 200 to 300 metres off-shore of Sea Point Promenade.”

It is believed young Jack Oliver will still feature in Ireland’s Round Three encounter with Fiji – as a mark of respect to his late father.

A minute’s silence will be observed at all of Tuesday’s games.

The Irish Rugby Football Union and World Rugby expressed their sincerest condolences to the Oliver family.

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IRFI-statement-on-tragedy-in-CT

Commenting on the news, Ireland Chief Executive Kevin Potts said: “On behalf of the Irish rugby community, I would like to extend my sincere condolences to the Oliver family at this extremely sad time.

“Greig was a hugely popular member of staff and played a key role in the development of many young players during his time at Munster Rugby.

“The news is an unspeakable tragedy and our thoughts are with Greig’s wife Fiona, children Jack and Ciara, and his many friends, family and colleagues. May he rest in peace.”

World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said: “On behalf of World Rugby and the global rugby family, I would like to extend my deepest sympathies to the Oliver family, the Ireland Under-20 squad and the Irish rugby community at this difficult time.

“All the players at the World Rugby Under-20 Championship stand in solidarity with Jack, his team-mates and the Oliver family and a moment’s silence will be observed across all of Tuesday’s matches as a mark of respect.

“We have also offered our full support to the Ireland team in South Africa.”

The Oliver incident followed the tragedy over the weekend where Irish schoolboys Andrew O’Donnell and Max Wall – who were on holiday in Spain.

It has been a challenging and very difficult 48 hours for the Irish team.

As a player, Greig Oliver competed in the inaugural World Cup in 1987 for Scotland before establishing a reputation as a talented coach of up-and-coming talent with Ireland A, Ireland Under-20 between 2011 and 2014, and more recently with Munster.

Ireland statement two- take two

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