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Quins and England prospect Seb Adeniran-Olule remembered as "incredible talent"

Published 11/05/2016

Harlequins rugby director Conor O'Shea has led tributes to Quins academy player Seb Adeniran-Olule
Harlequins rugby director Conor O'Shea has led tributes to Quins academy player Seb Adeniran-Olule

Harlequins and England prospect Seb Adeniran-Olule was remembered as "a fantastic kid" and "an incredible talent" after he died in a motorway crash at the age of 20.

Adeniran-Olule was killed when his car collided with a lorry on the northbound M23 near Hooley, in Surrey, at 5.35am on Monday. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Formal identification has yet to take place and a Surrey Police spokeswoman refused to confirm his identity.

She said: "The collision involved a car and a HGV which is believed to be stationary at the time of the incident. Sadly, the driver and sole occupant of the car, a man in his 20s, was pronounced dead at the scene."

Harlequins said all at the club were "deeply saddened" by the tragedy. The front-row forward had been involved with the club for seven years.

" Our thoughts and prayers are with Seb's family and friends at this difficult time," said Harlequins director of rugby Conor O'Shea.

"Seb was an incredible talent and had already represented England at under-age level, as well as making his senior debut for Quins at just 20.

"He will be sorely missed by the whole squad, as well as by the wider club."

Adeniran-Olule, an England Under-20 international, made three first-team appearances for Quins, including in this season's European Challenge Cup pool game against Italian side Calvisano.

His first England Under-20s game was against Ireland in February last year, and he started the final two Six Nations games of that campaign against Scotland and France. He also featured in four of England's five games during the 2015 World Championship in Italy.

The Rugby Football Union's national academy development manager John Fletcher said: "I am devastated. He was a fantastic kid. He was one of the most skilful players in his position I have ever seen.

"He always played the game with a big smile on his face and could do some phenomenal things with the ball. As a character he was quiet, had incredible work-rate, was popular and first to learn.

"On the pitch, he would get you off your seat, and as a front-row player that is fairly rare. He had some outstanding moments with the ball in hand. He should be remembered as a great kid. I loved coaching him. It's a tragic loss."

Tributes followed from several of Adeniran-Olule's England Under-20 colleagues.

London Irish winger Tom Fowlie wrote on Twitter: "Absolutely lost for words about the news of Seb Adeniran-Olule. Thought and prayers are with his family. RIP mate".

Saracens' Nick Tompkins added: "Absolutely gutting news about Seb Adeniran-Olule. Such a nice guy, and great player. #RIPSeb".

Another young England prospect, Will Homer of Bath, said: "Gutted to hear the passing of big Seb Adeniran-Olule, legend of a bloke and an awesome player. Thoughts with friends and family X".

Bath's Brett Herron added: "Deeply saddened and shocked by the news of Seb Adeniran-Olule passing! Great teammate on and off the field, thoughts with his family RIP".

The Rugby Players' Association expressed its sorrow, saying it was " truly saddened", and adding: "We would like to send our sincere condolences to Seb's family, friends and teammates at this hugely difficult time."

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