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Greig Oliver. Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

Munster rugby coach Greig Oliver dies in paragliding accident in South Africa

The IRFU have paid tribute after the tragic accident occurred in Cape Town this afternoon.

THE IRFU AND Munster Rugby have paid tribute tonight to coach Greig Oliver, who passed away today following a paragliding accident in South Africa.

The Scottish native was in the country for the World Rugby U20 Championship to support his son Jack, who is a member of the Ireland squad competing in the tournament.

The accident occurred in Cape Town this afternoon.

The Ireland team are due to play Fiji tomorrow in Stellenbosch in a Pool B game. 

Munster Rugby and the IRFU have stated tonight that they are liaising directly with Greig’s family, providing them with any assistance and support required at this time.

In a statement to The Journal, a spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed that it is aware of the case and is providing consular assistance.

A former Scotland international, Greig Oliver had been heavily involved in Munster rugby. He held a number of coaching roles with the Garryowen club and the Munster A side and more recently as Elite Performance Officer for the province, a role he held since 2011.

He was also assistant coach of the Ireland U20 side between 2011-14. 

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

“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.

“Today’s 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.”

Munster Rugby CEO Ian Flanagan also paid tribute.

“On behalf of Munster Rugby, I would like to express our deepest sympathies to Greig’s wife Fiona, son Jack, daughter Ciara, and the wider Oliver family.

“We are all in a state of shock following Greig’s tragic passing.  He was a great colleague and friend to so many and will be dearly missed across the Munster and Irish Rugby community.

“Greig made his presence felt each day, he was always there to provide a helping hand and was a hugely popular character with his light-hearted nature and sense of humour.

“He had an infectious enthusiasm for the game and was incredibly passionate about helping young players be the best they can be on and off the field.

“May he rest in peace.”

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