SA Rugby president Mark Alexander sent his condolences to the families and friends of three deceased members of the Swallows Rugby Football Club.
The team’s captain, Mzwandile Yalezo (29), tighthead prop Onke Gqadushe (27) and team manager Tyron Roberts (49) were killed when the vehicle they were travelling in overturned en route from Nxarhuni to King William’s Town on Saturday evening.
Two other players, loose forwards Lukhanyo Siyobi and Samnkelo Mabombo, escaped with minor injuries. Roberts was also the Border Bulldogs’ logistics manager during the recent Provincial Rugby Challenge.
Earlier on Saturday, Mdantsane-based Swallows, who celebrate their 107th anniversary this year, had beaten Ocean Sweepers 24-16 to strengthen their lead atop the Border Super League log and take pole position in the race to qualify for the Gold Cup.
‘This tragedy, coming just hours after a victory that may ultimately guarantee the club a league title, is devastating and the entire rugby community mourns with Swallows and Border,’ said Alexander.
‘Rugby is such a tight-knit family, especially in the Eastern Cape, and the loss of Zwayi [Yalezo], Onke and Tyron will be deeply felt by all who knew them.
‘Our thoughts are with the loved ones of the deceased.’