Former Sale Sharks wing Selorm Kuadey has died at the age of 24.
The Sharks have not revealed how the Ukraine-born former England Under-20 international died.
Kuadey made 16 appearances for the Premiership club before being forced to retire in 2010 because of injury.
"Everyone at Sale Sharks passes their deepest sympathies to Selorm's family and friends at this very difficult and upsetting time," Sale chief executive Mick Hogan.
"Selorm was a very popular young man and a wonderfully talented rugby player.
"We are devastated to learn about his tragic death and the club is offering our full support to his family, friends and former team-mates during this deeply traumatic period."
Kuadey joined Sale in 2005 from Lancaster RGS and retired five years later after two long-term injuries.
He gained a first-class honours degree in human biology & infectious diseases in 2011, and recently started a career as a business manager.
Rugby Players' Association chief executive Damian Hopley said: "We are all shocked to the core by this tragic news about Selorm.
"He was an outstanding professional and brilliant young man who was so popular and respected by his team-mates and peers across the game.
"On behalf of all the RPA members, we send our sincere condolences to his family and friends at this terrible time."
Acting Rugby Football Union chief executive Stephen Brown said: "Selorm was a popular young man who won the respect of his peers and impressed everyone he came into contact with while representing England.
"He will be greatly missed by the rugby community and our thoughts are with his family and friends at such a sad time."