Rugby

Student dies after head knock

2012-09-11 12:47
Rugby ball (File)
Johannesburg - A promising young rugby player from the University of Johannesburg, who would have signed a professional player's contract on Monday, died over the weekend after bumping his head at a party.

Roche van der Westhuizen, 24, died in his sleep on Saturday night, several hours after he tripped on a step and knocked his head against a wall, Beeld reported.

His brother, Quintus van der Westhuizen, 34, said Roche had gone out with friends to celebrate winning a rugby match earlier in the day.

Roche was the prop for UJ's second team in their Predator final against Rustenburg Impala on Saturday afternoon.

After he bumped his head at a Greenside restaurant, the group went to get takeaways, after which they went back to their Northcliff student home, it was reported.

"He fell asleep and never woke up... we're not sure what caused his death, we'll have to wait for autopsy results. It's an absolute freak accident," Van der Westhuizen said.

Border Bulldogs coach Paul Flanagan confirmed that Roche would have signed a contract on Monday.

"We'd been watching him for a while. It's incredibly tragic that something like this could happen to such a promising young player," he said.

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