Players, coaches and teams paid tribute to South African loose forward Nick Koster, who died at the age of 34.
Koster was a school rugby star who captained the Western Province (WP) u.18 team, while he also ran for the South African Schools team in 2006 and 2007.
After matric, he played for the WP (he made his Currie Cup debut as a 19-year-old in 2008) and the Stormers before his career took a turn in England where he played for Bath and Bristol.
After his Bristol days he studied at the world famous Cambridge University and he captained the students’ rugby team in their annual derby against Oxford.
He was also known for his charity work.
“I was devastated to hear the news of Nick’s passing. He was one of the best school rugby players ever and an incredible person and friend. You will certainly be missed,” tweeted Gary Gold, former Springbok assistant coach.
Absolutely devastated to hear the news of Nick’s passing. One of the best schoolboy rugby players to have ever played the game and an outstanding person and friend. You will be sorely missed Nick. RIP buddy ???????????? https://t.co/adivoGDOaM
— Gary Gold (@Garygoldrugby) July 12, 2023
Joe Joyce, who played 101 games for Bristol before making the move to Connacht, also paid tribute to Koster.
“Rest in peace, Nick Koster. He was one of the nicest players to play for Bristol and he always made time for our young guys,” he tweeted.
According to the Bristol Bears, the South African-born player was incredibly popular among his fellow players and the club’s supporters.
“He played 62 games for the club between 2013 and 2017 and he definitely made a difference on and off the field. Among other things, he was shortlisted for the player of the season for his incredible charity work among the city’s young people.”
The club is devastated to hear of the tragic passing of hugely popular former player Nick Koster at the age of 34.
Rest in peace, Nick.
— Bristol Bears ???? (@BristolBears) July 12, 2023
Devastating news ???? https://t.co/Yi2ANRUiW6
— Francois Hougaard (@Francoishougi) July 12, 2023
Bath Rugby is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of former player Nick Koster.
Everyone at Bath Rugby would like to extend their heartfelt sympathies to Nick’s family, friends and teammates.
— Bath Rugby (@BathRugby) July 12, 2023