Ulster postpone match with Zebre
September 17, 2012
Eamon Gilmore signs the book of condolence at Ravenhill © PA Photos
Ulster have confirmed that their match with Zebre on Friday night has been postponed following the tragic death of Nevin Spence.
The promising centre died along with his father and brother after falling into a slurry tank on Saturday at their farm in County Down. Ulster have since paid their tributes to the 22-year-old and they have opted to postpone their match with Zebre which was due to be played in Parma on Friday.
Ulster say that an announcement regarding its rescheduling will be released in due course and that a moment of silence will be observed at all RaboDirect PRO12 matches this coming weekend.
A book of condolence is now open at Ravenhill and Irish Tanaiste (Deputy Prime Minister) Eamon Gilmore has visited the ground to pay his respects on behalf of the Dublin Government. Gilmore described the accident as a "deep, deep tragedy".
"This was a huge tragedy for the family," he said. "I want to express my condolences to Mrs Spence, to the family, the two daughters. I grew up on a farm, I understand how something like this could happen. I can picture how it could happen. It's a deep tragedy, it's a great loss and I think that everybody on this island of Ireland will express their sympathy with the Spence family.
"It's rocked the island as a whole because it's just so deep, it's so many members of the one family - a tragedy that occurred in a very simple way.
"It's just a huge, huge loss for this family, for their local community, for their friends, for their neighbours and, of course, it's a loss also to sport, to Ulster sport in particular, and Ulster Rugby in particular, but above all this is a human personal family tragedy, and I think every family on this island and further afield has sympathy for the Spence family for what happened and our thoughts are with them today."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Proposals to remove promotion and relegation from the Aviva Premiership would be for the good of the game overall, argues John Taylor
Ireland have the world sitting up and taking notice - and rugby's structure in Europe will aid their Rugby World Cup bid, writes John Mitchell
Where does Italy's win over Scotland rank among their successes in the Six Nations? Scrum Sevens investigates
The tone was set early on in Dublin as a more clinical Ireland made England pay. All is not lost, however, argues Phil Vickery