The Wallabies plan to wear black armbands against England on Saturday to honour cricketer Phil Hughes who died on Thursday.
The Wallabies plan to wear black armbands against England at Twickenham on Saturday to honour cricketer Phil Hughes who died on Thursday.
Australia’s skipper Michael Hooper said the team was shocked and saddened by the news of the Australian international batsman’s passing and had requested to wear armbands.
“It’s the kind of news you never want to wake up to,” Hooper told AAP after training on Thursday.
“It’s a pretty sombre mood when we’ve been talking about it as a group because we play in a sport (where) you don’t see these things happen.
“We all love our cricket and see these guys play and a lot of the guys have met the cricketers and have good feelings towards them.
“So our thoughts and our messages go back to him and his family and for the whole cricket team to stay strong.
“For us to see that, it’s tough and this weekend we’ll hopefully be able to show our messages strongly.”
Some of the Wallabies players met Hughes earlier this year when he – along with fellow cricketers Brad Haddin and Mitchell Starc – participated in a cross-sport promotional photo shoot with Israel Folau, Matt Toomua.and Nic White.
Wallabies wing Rob Horne echoed Hooper’s sentiments and said it was a sad day for Australian sport.
“We’re very fortunate the life we live as sportsmen; we’re the very few people who get to do what we love as a living and to hear something like that is a reality check for sure,” he said.
“My heart just goes out to everyone involved in cricket in Australia and Phil and his family. It’s devastating.”
England boss Stuart Lancaster also offered condolences on behalf of his team.
“Obviously we were all deeply saddened and shocked this morning to hear the news and on behalf of England rugby we’d like to pass on our condolences to his family and friends and obviously the Australian team themselves,” he said.