17 Sep 2012

Up and coming Irish player dies in farm accident

6:01 am on 17 September 2012

Promising Irish rugby player Nevin Spence has died after falling into a tank of animal waste on his family farm, in a tragic accident that also killed his father and brother.

The 22-year-old, who played centre for Irish province Ulster, played an exhibition game for the Irish senior team against the Barbarians this year, but had not made his full competitive debut.

Spence, his father and older brother drowned in a slurry tank on their family farm in Northern Ireland.

A slurry tank contains animal waste and other biodegradable material that is turned into organic fertiliser.

Nevin's sister, who was present when the accident occurred, is in a stable condition in hospital after suffering from fume inhalation.

All Blacks great Daniel Carter, Ireland captain Brian O'Driscoll, golf's world number one Rory McIlroy and Wales winger George North were among those who expressed their condolences on Twitter.

Spence was named Young Player of the Year at the Irish Rugby Football Union Players' Association Awards in 2011.