Second Durham rugby player dies in Sri Lanka

A British rugby player has died after arriving in Sri Lanka the Police media unit said

The players, both from Durham, were on tour with one of the club's teams called the Clems Pirates.

Two English amateur rugby players who died within days of each other during a tour of Sri Lanka are being remembered by those who knew them and the wider sporting community.

It follows the death of his teammate Thomas Howard, 25, after the pair were both admitted to hospital in the city of Colombo on Sunday due to breathing difficulties.

A 26-year-old man, thought to be from Durham, is reported to have died while a 27-year-old man is said to be "critically ill" and is being treated in hospital.

"Clem's Pirates will go ahead with their planned charity work and rugby kit donation before the end of the tour", the statement said.

"The club requests that the Howard and Baty families' right to privacy is respected and upheld at this most hard time".

British media were giving the story heavy coverage, with The Times reporting on Tuesday that "local police said that they were investigating links to "narcotics and liquor".

More news: Scotland refused to support the bill on Brexit

The club asked that the privacy of the men's families be "respected and upheld at this hard time".

Prior to visiting the club, the men had played a friendly match against a local rugby team.

Durham City Rugby Football Club, which oversees the team, confirmed Mr Howard had died after "suffering breathing problems".

He had ruled the death was caused not by a disease or an injury.

A spokesman for The Foreign and Commonwealth Office said: 'Our staff are supporting the family of a British man following his death in Sri Lanka, and are in contact with the Sri Lankan hospital services.

Police have told the families present in Sri Lanka the judicial medical officer gave an open verdict and sent body samples for further analysis.

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