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January 24, 2022

League player dies after tackle in Ballina game

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Zane Purcell pictured recently with his young daughter on his Facebook site.
Zane Purcell pictured recently with his young daughter on his Facebook site.

NSW rugby league authorities have sent their condolences to family and friends of a 29-year-old father of two who died while playing in a match yesterday afternoon at Ballina.

Zane Purcell was playing for the Lower Clarence Magpies’ reserve grade in their afternoon match against  Ballina Seagulls at Kingsford Smith Park when he collapsed after a tackle not long into the game.

A head clash in the tackle is believed to have knocked out Mr Purcell, who was treated on the field by a paramedic using CPR before he was taken by ambulance to Ballina Hospital, where he died soon after.

The Country Rugby League says it is providing counselling to the family and both teams who participated in yesterday’s match. In a statement to Echonetdaily, a CRL spokesman said that ’in respect for the family, we will not be making any further comment at this time’.

Mr Purcell’s teammates and family members have paid tribute to their mate and loved one and extended sympathies to his wife and young children on his Facebook site.

A report is to be prepared for the Coroner.

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  1. Chalk another one up on the tally board for this violent, dangerous excuse for sport.
    People, then have the hide to promote this barbarism to children, which in my opinion is nothing short of child abuse.

  2. It’s a shame that as a society we champion a game as a great sport that harms its participants through all the injuries and even death . I also wonder how much publicity/ media attention this tragedy will get , in comparison to the Bali executions and if there will be anything learnt by this sad event. A life is a life something to be treasured and with this great loss many people are effected for many years to come.
    It seems to me we haven’t evolved much from days of the gladiators and the blood lust of the crowds that watch.


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