Manly Warringah Sea Eagles player Keith Titmuss has died at the age of 20 after falling ill following training.
The prop was taken from the Narrabeen training camp to Northern Beaches Hospital, before he was transferred to Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney, where he died shortly after.
Titmuss had yet to make his National Rugby League (NRL) debut but was in his side’s 30-man squad for next season.
“We are all devastated by this news,” said Sea Eagles head coach Des Hasler.
“Keith was a very popular character among the playing group. He will be sorely missed but never forgotten by the Sea Eagles.”
Titmuss played for the Sea Eagles junior teams and scored the matching-winning try in the 2017 Holden Cup final for under-20s sides.
He also won the Jersey Flegg Cup players’ player award – an event that involves teams made up of players aged 20 or under.
Sea Eagles chief executive Stephen Humphreys said: “Our club sends its deepest condolences to Keith’s family and friends and will provide them with all of the support they need during this difficult period.
“We are working with the NRL’s wellbeing team to offer support and counselling to our playing group and staff.”
The 2021 NRL season is set to being on 11 March.