Teyise, 18, was injured during a match against Port Rex Technical High School in East London on Saturday. According to reports, he received medical attention at the side of the pitch and was later admitted to a local hospital, where bleeding on the brain was diagnosed. He passed away overnight.

“We received the devastating news of Liyabona’s passing on Sunday and on behalf of the entire South African rugby community, I would like to pay my respects to a bright young kid who lost his life too soon,” said Mr Alexander.

“Any death related to the game we all love so much, is one too many and our thoughts and prayers are with Liyabona’s family, friends and team-mates during this very difficult time, especially as the school lost another learner during the week, not due to rugby.

“By all accounts, Liyabona was a wonderful young man with a bright future ahead of him. Our most sincere condolences to everyone who knew him, from his family and the school, during this time of grief. To lose someone so young, is nothing but tragic.”

Mr Alexander said that early reports indicate that all the necessary medical protocols had been observed both at the match venue and in hospital.

“Unfortunate events such as this one, remind us how important it is to ensure that there are always proper medical support and facilities in place at matches, and that coaches and match officials are trained to deal with such injury situations appropriately,” said Mr Alexander.

Mr Alexander said that SA Rugby had in place a science-based injury prevention programme called BokSmart which had been highly successful in reducing catastrophic injury incidence in rugby in South Africa for more than a decade. He emphasised that it was therefore critical that all referees and coaches were properly affiliated to SA Rugby and certified on the BokSmart programme.