The former club of a Welsh rugby player have said they are "broken" by the tragic news of his death in Canada.

Tributes have poured in for ex-Llandybie RFC player Daniel Wigley, who had been living in Vancouver for several years. A GoFundMe page was set up on Wednesday night to fund his repatriation has already raised more than £47,000.

"Desperately sad news - we have lost a fine young man which has broken us as a club and a community. RIP Dan." tweeted the club, that's based near Ammanford in Carmarthenshire.

Club secretary Stuart Griffith also made a heartfelt statement.

Daniel Wigley (with the ball) is pictured competing for the BC Bears All Stars vs Canada (

Image:

BC/British Columbia Rugby)

"Daniel Wigley, a young man of immense character and stature had lived in Vancouver for the past few years and also spent the early part of his career in London," he said.

"However, he remained a Llandybie boy at heart and to be told of his passing has broken us as a club and as a community.

"He was the most wonderful, unassuming, polite young man you could ever to wish to meet. On the field he was a massive presence and a fantastic rugby player and as a club we were all so proud of him when he represented the British Columbia Team to play the Canadian national team before the last Rugby World Cup.

"Our deepest and sincerest condolences to David, Sue, Alex and Annis.

"He has been taken from us all too soon. There are no real words to explain how we all feel - we are all numb, but we are all here for you and grieving with you. RIP Dan".

Wigley also represented Hampstead RFC in London and was excelling in Canada, representing British Columbia in a game against the national side in 2019.

Rugby Canada tweeted: "We are deeply saddened to share a major loss within our rugby community.

"Dan Wigley represented the BC Bears All Stars against Canada Men’s XV in build up to RWC 2019, and was a proud member of Llandybie RFC in Wales and Meraloma Rugby Club in Vancouver."

Llandybie RFC said the club was "broken" by the news of Dan's death (

Image:

@Llandybie_RFC / Twitter)

The GoFundMe page has been set up by Dan’s colleagues in Canada to assist his family, and organisers of the appeal described him as a "kind, funny, gentle giant of a friend."

They added: "This page is to help support Dan's family with the arrangements of getting Dan home to Wales and organising the celebration of his wonderful life.

"Dan touched a lot of people and I know many of you want to help in any way you can. On behalf of Dan's family, his gorgeous girlfriend Sacha, and many friends, thank you in advance for all your support and kind messages."

The total includes £5,000 from Llandybie RFC's members and players, and £1,000 from Hampstead RFC.

A later update said Daniel's family "would like everyone to know that any money not needed to cover costs will be going to a charity of their choice or to set up a fund in Dan's name."

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