Archie Bruce: Batley Bulldogs player found dead in hotel after debut against Toulouse

Archie Bruce

Archie Bruce had played in Batley’s defeat on Saturday

A rugby league player has been found dead in his hotel room the morning after making his debut for Championship side Batley Bulldogs at Toulouse.

The club said it was “greatly saddened to announce the passing” of scrum-half Archie Bruce, 20.

Inquiries are being conducted in France and the club’s players have delayed their return home.

Club chairman Kevin Nicholas said: “The Bruce family have requested privacy during this most difficult of times.”

He said that Batley Bulldogs, the Rugby Football League and the league’s benevolent fund will be supporting the family.

Bruce, who previously played for Dewsbury Moor amateur club in West Yorkshire, made his debut off the replacements bench for Batley Bulldogs in a 46-0 defeat at Toulouse on Saturday.

Batley are ninth in the 14-team Championship, the division below Super League.


Rugby league fans, players and clubs have paid tribute to Archie Bruce

Tributes to the scrum-half have been paid on social media by rugby league clubs and players.

“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,” said England and St Helens prop Alex Walmsley, who was born in Dewsbury and started his career at Batley.

England and Huddersfield Giants wing Jermaine McGillvary, who spent two seasons on loan at Batley, said: “Such shocking news. RIP Archie, thoughts go out to his family.”

Toulouse offered their sincere condolences to his family, friends and the club, adding: “We will do our maximum to support them.”