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Rugby player (25) dies after suffering serious head injury during a game


Nicholas Tooth. (Quirindi Lions / Facebook)

Nicholas Tooth. (Quirindi Lions / Facebook)

Nicholas Tooth. (Quirindi Lions / Facebook)

In the week after George North's double concussion in Wales' clash with England in the Six Nations, former Irish international Neil Francis claimed it would take a fatality for rugby authorities to address the serious issue of head injuries in the sport.

Australian rugby player Nicholas Tooth died over the weekend after suffering a head injury following a tackle in a game in Central New South Wales.

The 25-year-old was airlifted to Newcastle's John Hunter Hospital in a critical condition after his head made an impact with an opposition player's shoulder while he was playing for the Quirindi LionsĀ  but died yesterday afternoon.

Mr Tooth was visiting family in the area and was not expected to play in the game but decided to compete for the first grade side.

Quirindi Lions football club President, Charles Murray, told ABC that the tackle was a tragic accident and there was "nothing untoward".

"It really was just a tragic accident, Nick went in to tackle an opponent and his head clashed with [the opponent's] shoulder and he went down," Mr Murray said. "There was no foul play, nothing untoward about it at all, sadly it was just a very tragic accident."

The Quirindi Rugby club posted a tribute to the "kind hearted" athlete on its Facebook page this morning.

"The Quirindi Rugby club would like to send their deepest condolences to the Tooth family on the loss of Nick," the post read.

"The loss of this kind hearted and fine young man will be felt far and wide. The club would like to offer their support to everyone who has been touched by this tragic loss.

"Further information will be posted as appropriate. The players and club members thank everyone for their thoughts and support at this sad time."

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