Toulon — Former France international rugby player Eric Melville has died at the age of 55 after suffering a heart attack, his former team Toulon said on Monday.
"Terrible news this morning. Giant South African flanker Eric Melville has died of a heart attack overnight Sunday to Monday at just 55 years," Toulon said in a statement. "A player of great talent … Melville was above all an exceptional man, generous and full of humanity."
Born in Cape Town, Melville arrived in France aged 19 and became the first South African to become a French international, winning six caps and playing the Five Nations tournament in 1990. He started his club career playing at Hagetmau and Mont-de-Marsan in southwestern France before joining Toulon, where he won the French title in 1987 and 1992.
"I’m shocked by the terrible news of Melville’s death," wrote former Toulon teammate Aubin Hueber on his Facebook page.