Controversial former Ireland rugby star Ryan Tandy dies
Former Hull KR and Ireland prop Ryan Tandy has been found dead at his parents' house in Australia, with the Daily Telegraph reporting an apparent drug overdose as the cause of death.
Tandy was found guilty of match-fixing during his spell with the Canterbury Bulldogs, and was banned from the NRL for life as a result.
Police have confirmed that the body of a 32-year-old man was found in Saratoga around 2pm on Monday, and said that the death was not being treated as suspicious.
The prop and second-row forward made 36 appearances in the NRL with five clubs between 2003 and 2011, as well as 12 appearances for Super League side Hull Kingston Rovers and five matches for Ireland in the 2008 Rugby League World Cup.
A statement on Rugby League Ireland's official website said: "Rugby League Ireland would like to pass on our condolences to the family and friends of Ryan Tandy who sadly passed away today in Saratoga, Australia.
"Ryan was a larger than life character and we would like to express our thanks for the commitment during the World Cup."
Born in Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia on September 20, 1981, Tandy returned to Australia in 2008 with the West Tigers having seen previous stints with St George Illawarra and South Sydney Rabbitohs end in disappointment.
He would move on to Melbourne Storm in 2009 where he would feature in the Grand Final victory over Parramatta Eels, only for the club to see their title stripped for breaching salary cap regulations, and left for Canterbury the following year.
While playing for the Bulldogs, Tandy was found to have placed bets on opponents North Queensland Cowboys to score the first points of a match via a penalty. Tandy would knock the ball on to give the Cowboys possession, before giving away a penalty in front of the posts early on, but the Cowboys elected to go for a try which they would score instead of kicking for goal.
He denied the allegations, but was found guilty in 2011 of manipulating the first scoring point of the game and given a life ban from the Australian league.
The club sacked him on March 18, 2011, with the guilty verdict coming on October 6 of the same year.
Hull KR added in a statement: "The club are shocked and saddened by the news of the death of former player Ryan Tandy.
"Ryan served Hull Kingston Rovers with distinction during his time with the club and our thoughts go out to his family and friends at this difficult time."
Independent News Service