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Dublin: 5 °C Friday 21 February, 2020

Former France international and Top 14 winner Ibrahim Diarra dies aged 36

Diarra started his professional career with Montauban before spending seven seasons with Castres.

FORMER FRANCE BACK-ROWER Ibrahim Diarra has died at the age of 36 following a heart attack, sources close to the player told AFP.

rugby-union-rbs-6-nations-championship-2008-france-v-italy-stade-de-france Ibrahim Diarra was capped by France in their Six Nations meeting with Italy in 2008. Source: PA Archive/PA Images

Diarra, who made his only Test appearance against Italy in 2008, had been in a Paris hospital in a critical condition since Friday after having suffered a cardiac arrest.

Those near to the former Top 14 champion said he then suffered numerous strokes which had caused irreversible brain damage.

Diarra started his professional career with Montauban before spending seven seasons with Castres, where he won the French title in 2013. He retired in 2018.

“I am devastated that he could go so soon. We will always remember his smile, and an eternal memory of a great rugby player. My most sincere condolences to the family and those close to Ibrahim Diarra,” the French Rugby Federation’s president Bernard Laporte said on Twitter.

conor-murray-is-consoled-by-ibraham-diarra-after-his-try-was-disallowed Diarra with Conor Murray during a game between Munster and Castres in January 2012. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Diarra’s former coach at Montauban, Laurent Travers, also paid tribute to him.

“He brought laughter and a ray of sunshine. He gave everything on the field,” Travers told AFP.

© – AFP, 2019

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