A British Rugby player dies in Sri Lanka

A British rugby player has died after arriving in Sri Lanka the Police media unit said

Howard, 25, died in hospital Sunday, based on an announcement from Durham Metropolis Rugby and Soccer Membership (DCRFC) and the UK Overseas Workplace.

The team arrived in Sri Lanka on Wednesday and began the tour with a game against Ceylonese Rugby and Football Club (CR & FC) in Colombo.

Thomas Howard and Tom Baty, both 26, fell ill on Sunday morning having been to a nightclub until the early hours.

The pair were both admitted to hospital in the city of Colombo on Sunday.

Mr Baty, who was in critical condition, passed away today.

British media were giving the story heavy coverage, with The Times reporting on Tuesday that "local police said that they were investigating links to "narcotics and liquor".

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Mr Howard's post-mortem examination did not reveal any existing injury or illness that might have caused his death.

In a statement, the club said their breathing issues were not rugby-related, and also thanked people for their support.

"We ask the media to respect the privacy of the families at this very hard time". After returning from the nightclub late Saturday night, the two men told hotel staff they had trouble breathing and were taken to Colombo's Nawaloka Hospital.

Durham City RFC president Richard Wilkinson said: 'Both players and Clems Pirates hold a special place in our rugby family, and our continued support is unconditional'.

Tom Baty, 27, was pronounced dead on Tuesday, the police spokesman's office said.

The judicial medial officer gave an open verdict and sent body samples for further analysis, police said.

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