THE rugby league community is in shock after the death of 20-year-old Batley Bulldogs player Archie Bruce. 

The scrum-half was found dead in his hotel bedroom, the Betfred Championship club have announced.

The 20-year-old had made his debut for Batley during Saturday night’s match against Toulouse in the south of France.

Rugby league figures and clubs from across the town have been expressing sadness at the tragic news.

Saints prop forward Alex Walmsley, who signed from the Bulldogs, tweeted: "Incredibly sad news to wake up to, my condolences go out to his family, friends and teammates at both Batley and Dewsbury Moor. RIP Archie"




Club chairman Kevin Nicholas said in a statement: “Batley Bulldogs are greatly saddened to announce the passing of their player Archie Bruce who was found in his hotel bedroom early this morning having made his debut against Toulouse the previous evening.

“Archie’s immediate family have been informed.

“Batley Bulldogs, the RFL and the RFL Benevolent Fund will be supporting the family while enquiries by the French authorities continue, with the club squad delaying their return to the UK.

“The Bruce family have requested privacy during this most difficult of times.”

Bruce had joined the Bulldogs from amateur club Dewsbury Moor and made his debut off the replacements bench in the 46-0 defeat to Toulouse.