It’s sometimes difficult to remember that rugby players are human too, but one time when that reality hits home is when they are subject to horrific personal tragedies.
Just today, Caleb Clarke choked back the tears as he spoke about his grandfather dying just hours before his Blues side beat the Highlanders 27-24 in Auckland this morning (UK time).
"Just wanna give all the honour and glory back to God. That was dedicated to you Grandpa" – Caleb Clarke, our MVP 💪 pic.twitter.com/8O8JU9GY29— Sky Sport NZ (@skysportnz) June 27, 2020
Looking back in recent years, here are nine occasions where stars have overcome such times and continued to play the game we all love…
1. Charles & Siale Piutau
Centre Siale Piutau took to the field in Bristol’s crucial west country derby with Bath at Twickenham in April 2019 after hearing that morning sister Ema, a defence lawyer from Auckland, had died following a short illness. Charles, despite his
2. Hayden Triggs
The Leinster lock revealed his heartbreak over the death of his infant daughter Stella on September 30, 2016. A statement on the club’s website said the episode had been a “nightmare” for Triggs and his partner Mikala and that “our hearts are broken”. He bravely returned to the Leinster team before hanging up his boots.
3. Mo Mustafa
The Palestinian refugee only started playing rugby in his teens but went on to represent England students. Born in Mecca, Saudi Arabia to parents who are both refugees from the Gaza strip it wasn’t until age four that Mustafa moved to the UK.