Former France back-rower Ibrahim Diarra has died at the age of 36 following a heart attack.
Diarra, who made his only Test appearance against Italy in 2008, had been in a Paris hospital in a critical condition since Friday after having suffered a cardiac arrest.
Those near to the former Top 14 champion said he then suffered numerous strokes which had caused irreversible brain damage.
Diarra started his professional career with Montauban before spending seven seasons with Castres, where he won the French title in 2013 and retired five years later.
Rugby world shocked and saddened
"I am devastated that he could go so soon. We will always remember his smile, and an eternal memory of a great rugby player," the French Rugby Federation's president Bernard Laporte said on Twitter.
“My most sincere condolences to the family and those close to Ibrahim Diarra.”
Diarra's former coach at Montauban, Laurent Travers also paid tribute to him.
"He brought laughter and a ray of sunshine. He gave everything on the field," Travers told AFP.
Horrific. Rest In Peace Ibrahim Diarra— Ash (@sporting_ash21) December 18, 2019
Thoughts are with his former teammates and of course his family and friends 😢 https://t.co/M6Utgdepg1
Ibrahim Diarra has died aged 36. The 2013 @Top14 winner with @CastresRugby suffered a stroke last week. It’s terrible news. In his pomp he was brilliant and a player whose personality ensured he was popular wherever he went.— Martin Gillingham (@MartGillingham) December 18, 2019
Such sad news, a wonderful player and person #ibrahimdiarra RIP— Maz McMillan (@mazmcm) December 18, 2019
Desperately sad news of the untimely passing of Ibrahim Diarra May he RIP pic.twitter.com/B9QME16CoZ— George Murray (@murrayg9) December 18, 2019
Desperately sad news. Reports from France that Ibrahim Diarra has passed away.— Paul Eddison (@pauleddison) December 18, 2019
He had been in hospital after suffering a stroke.
Gone far too young at just 36. RIP https://t.co/EXAWItzuXx
Horrendous news coming out of France. L'Equipe report former Castres Olympique player Ibrahim Diarra has died following his admittance to hospital at the weekend with a suspected stroke. So sad. Thoughts with his family, friends & team mates. 😔 pic.twitter.com/jbN4KB61Kv— Tom May (@TomMay1) December 18, 2019