Sport Rugby

Friday 28 October 2016

Harlequins in mourning after death of young prop Seb Adeniran-Olule in car crash

Published 11/05/2016 | 16:02

Seb Adeniran-Olule has died following a car crash
Seb Adeniran-Olule has died following a car crash

Harlequins academy player Seb Adeniran-Olule has died at the age of 20 after a road traffic collision.

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In a statement announcing the news, Harlequins said all at the club were "deeply saddened" by the tragedy.

The front-row forward had been involved with the club for seven years.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Seb's family and friends at this difficult time," said Harlequins director of rugby Conor O'Shea.

"Seb was an incredible talent and had already represented England at under-age level, as well as making his senior debut for Quins at just 20.

"He will be sorely missed by the whole squad, as well as by the wider club."

Adeniran-Olule, an England Under-20 international, made three first-team appearances for Quins, including in this season's European Challenge Cup pool game against Italian side Calvisano.

Adeniran-Olule also played for England Under-16s, while his Under-18s debut came off the bench during a 43-12 win over Wales in 2014.

His first England Under-20s game was against Ireland in February last year, and he started the final two Six Nations games of that campaign against Scotland and France.

He also featured in four of England's five games during the 2015 World Championship in Italy.

The Rugby Football Union's national academy development manager John Fletcher said: "I am devastated. He was a fantastic kid.

"He was one of the most skilful players in his position I have ever seen.

"He always played the game with a big smile on his face and could do some phenomenal things with the ball.

"As a character he was quiet, had incredible work-rate, was popular and first to learn.

"On the pitch, he would get you off your seat, and as a front-row player that is fairly rare. He had some outstanding moments with the ball in hand.

"He should be remembered as a great kid. I loved coaching him. It's a tragic loss."

Tributes followed from a number of Adeniran-Olule's England Under-20 colleagues.

London Irish winger Tom Fowlie was stunned to hear of his friend's death.

Fowlie wrote on Twitter: "Absolutely lost for words about the news of Seb Adeniran-Olule. Thought and prayers are with his family. RIP mate".

Saracens' Nick Tompkins added: "Absolutely gutting news about Seb Adeniran-Olule. Such a nice guy, and great player. #RIPSeb".

Another young England prospect, Will Homer of Bath, said: "Gutted to hear the passing of big Seb Adeniran-Olule, legend of a bloke and an awesome player. Thoughts with friends and family X".

Bath's Brett Herron added: "Deeply saddened and shocked by the news of Seb Adeniran-Olule passing! Great teammate on and off the field, thoughts with his family RIP".

The Rugby Players' Association expressed its sorrow, saying it was "truly saddened to hear of the terrible passing of Seb Adeniran-Olule", and adding: "We would like to send our sincere condolences to Seb's family, friends and teammates at this hugely difficult time."

Adeniran-Olule was killed when his car collided with a lorry on the northbound M23 near Hooley, in Surrey, at 5.35am on Monday.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Formal identification has yet to take place and a Surrey Police spokeswoman refused to confirm his identity.

She said: "The collision involved a car and a HGV which is believed to be stationary at the time of the incident.

"Sadly, the driver and sole occupant of the car, a man in his 20s, was pronounced dead at the scene."

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