Thu, 19 May 2022

Rugby in mourning after French star dead at 29

RT.com
21 Jan 2022, 22:13 GMT+10

Tributes have been paid to Jordan Michallet after he died aged 29

Rugby in France is in mourning after the sudden death of Rouen fly-half Jordan Michallet at the age of 29, after he fell from the fourth floor of a building, a local prosecutor said.

His passing, suspected to be a suicide, was announced by the second division team as France Rugby also offered their condolences.

On Friday, it will be marked in the Normandy-based outfit's home match against Carcasonne at the Stade Jean-Mermoz.

"The Rouen Normandie Rugby family is deeply saddened to announce the passing of our dear Jordan Michallet," began the club in a statement.

"This awful news plunges the whole club into immense pain. The management and the whole club are joining forces with his family in this terrible ordeal," it was added.

Spending three years at Rouen, Michallet, who turned 29 on January 10 and was described by L'Equipe as a "general with no enemies" and "unanimously liked", helped them rise to the second tier of the French domestic game.

Also a France U-18 international, he enjoyed passages at Bourgoin and Grenoble, where a former coach called his untimely death "awful" and "terrible".

"My first thoughts are with his family, his club, and all his old buddies. It's a real shock," said Sylvain Begon.

"He was a determined boy who was easy to train. He was asking himself the right questions."

Posting a black and white photo of the player, France Rugby said the sport's family across the country "is bereaved today after the death of Jordan Michallet" and offered its "deepest condolences to his family and loved ones".

In recent months, Michallet was married and set to become a father while having signed a three-year extension to his contract at Rouen.

Despite this, however, a police source said that "all the elements pointed" to him having tried to pull off "three successive suicide attempts", with his latest "unfortunately successful".

When questioned by the AFP news agency, Rouen's public prosecutor confirmed that a suicide hypothesis as the cause of death is gaining strength while claiming that Michallet was found dead after he threw himself from the fourth floor of a building that was under construction.

Local police were notified of the fall at 1:07 p.m. by a witness, and when officers arrived at the scene, they found a student attempting to give him a cardiac massage.

Minutes prior to his death, just before 1:00 p.m., Michallet was allegedly involved in a car crash that caused traffic jams on the Mathilde bridge and on either side of Rouen.

Only just avoiding relegation last season, the local rugby team is left by Michallet one place above the drop zone after he helped them reach the Pro D2 for the first time in club history during his maiden campaign through winning the Federale 1 crown in 2019.

(RT.com)

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