British amateur rugby player dies on Clem's Pirates tour of Sri Lanka

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Howard's death was confirmed in a club statement issued on Monday.

The following morning the two players fell ill and were taken to hospital, local police said, but the deaths are not rugby-related.

"Both players and Clems Pirates hold a special place in our rugby family, and our continued support is unconditional".

'Our thoughts and prayers are with you all, ' he said.

A spokesman for the Foreign Office said: "We are assisting the family of a British man who has been hospitalised in Sri Lanka, and are in contact with the Sri Lankan medical services...."

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Clem Pirates were in Colombo on tour, having arrived last Wednesday, before facing Ceylonese Rugby and Football Club (CR & FC).

A team mate is said by police to be in a "very" critical condition.

A club statement released on Durham City RFC's website said: "It is with great sadness that the club can now confirm that Tom Baty, 26, from Durham City has died this afternoon following his admission to hospital on Sunday, 13 May".

"They are very much appreciated at this hard time", he said.

'I really feel for the families, being that far away and knowing that a family member has died must be bad, ' he said.

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'They are very much appreciated at this hard time, ' he said.

"My thoughts are with the families and friends and team-mates", the councillor said.

England rugby player Tamara Taylor was among those offering their sympathies on social media.

Neil Foster, chief executive of Tynedale RFC wrote: "Tragic news".

The British high commission (embassy) said it was supporting the families of the two men and was in contact with local authorities.

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