Any death related to the game is one too many - SA Rugby mourns Dale College pupil Liyabona Teyise

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SA Rugby president Mark Alexander during the South African national rugby team arrival media conference at OR Tambo International Airport on 5 November 2019 (Photo by Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images)
SA Rugby president Mark Alexander during the South African national rugby team arrival media conference at OR Tambo International Airport on 5 November 2019 (Photo by Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images)
Sydney Seshibedi
  • SA Rugby president Mark Alexander has reacted to the tragic death of Dale College rugby player Liyabona Teyise.
  • Teyise took a knock to the head during his school's match against Port Rex in East London at the weekend.
  • Alexander emphasised that through SA Rugby's BokSmart programme, they have been highly successful in reducing catastrophic injury.

SA Rugby has received with devastation the news of the death of Liyabona Teyise - a Dale College first team rugby player who suffered a fatal head knock at the weekend. 

Teyise was injured during his team's game against Port Rex in East London.

Sport24 reported Teyise lost consciousness very briefly, but was then able to walk off the field where he was attended to by a pitch-side medical team. 

After having trouble breathing and being given oxygen, Teyise was then rushed to Frere Provincial Hospital where he underwent an emergency CT Scan which revealed bleeding on the brain.

He died during the night on Saturday. He was 18-years-old.

"We received the devastating news of Liyabona's passing on Sunday and on behalf of the entire South African rugby community, I would like to pay my respects to a bright young kid who lost his life too soon," said SA Rugby president Mark Alexander.

"Any death related to the game we all love so much, is one too many and our thoughts and prayers are with Liyabona's family, friends and team-mates during this very difficult time, especially as the school lost another learner during the week, not due to rugby.

"By all accounts, Liyabona was a wonderful young man with a bright future ahead of him. Our most sincere condolences to everyone who knew him, from his family and the school, during this time of grief. To lose someone so young, is nothing but tragic."

Alexander added:

Unfortunate events such as this one, remind us how important it is to ensure that there are always proper medical support and facilities in place at matches, and that coaches and match officials are trained to deal with such injury situations appropriately.

This is the second tragedy to hit the Eastern Cape school in a matter of days after 17-year-old Lisakhanya 'Carter' Lwana, also a first team rugby player, was found dead last week Tuesday.

Headmaster Garth Shaw said the school would assess whether or not it will participate in upcoming tournaments.

Dale had fixtures listed for the King Edward VII School Easter Festival against Trinityhouse, hosts KES, and Jeppe High School for Boys, with the latter school's director of rugby Carl Spilhaus a former Under-13A and first-team coach at Dale.

Alexander stressed that SA Rugby had in place a science-based injury prevention programme called BokSmart which had been highly successful in reducing catastrophic injury incidence in rugby in South Africa for more than a decade.

He emphasised that it was therefore critical that all referees and coaches were properly affiliated to SA Rugby and certified on the BokSmart programme.

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