THE PRESIDENT of Ireland has paid tribute to Munster head coach Anthony Foley, who passed away suddenly in Paris.
Michael D Higgins described Foley as "one of the great figures of Irish sport in the modern era" and "a great leader both on and off the pitch".
Foley, 42, passed away in the Munster team hotel while in Paris for his side's European Champions Cup game with Racing 92.
"While news of his death will be received with shock by all those in the rugby and sports world, it is of course first and foremost a great tragedy for his family and close friends.
"As President of Ireland, and as Patron of the IRFU, I offer them and Munster rugby my deepest sympathies."
Meanwhile Dan Mulhall, the Irish Ambassador in London, took to Twitter to pay tribute to Foley's "dedication and indomitable Munster spirit".
London Irish CEO Bob Casey echoed those sentiments in a statement released by the club.
"Our sincere thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and everyone connected with Munster Rugby at this incredibly sad time for the world of rugby," it read. "May he rest in peace."
Read the tributes to Anthony Foley and reaction to his passing below
— President of Ireland (@PresidentIRL) October 16, 2016
Terrible news about Anthony Foley. A giant of a man, a true legend from Clare & Munster. What a loss. Deepest sympathies to his family. RIP
— Marty Morrissey (@MartyM_RTE) October 16, 2016
— Irish Rugby (@IrishRugby) October 16, 2016
RIP to a giant of a man @Munsterrugby legend Anthony Foley ? A fantastic rugby man both on & off the field. Heartfelt condolences.
— Phil Davies (@pd4rugby) October 16, 2016
— Racing 92 (@racing92) October 16, 2016
Rip Anthony Foley.. thoughts are with his Family and friends at this sad time. @Munsterrugby ??
— John Hartson (@JohnHartson10) October 16, 2016
Can't quite believe it. So incredibly sad. My thoughts are with Olive, his boys & and his extended family. https://t.co/rslxzyC85T
— Brian O'Driscoll (@BrianODriscoll) October 16, 2016
So sad to learn of death of Munster & Ireland rugby hero Anthony Foley. Will be remembered for his dedication & indomitable Munster spirit.
— Daniel Mulhall (@DanMulhall) October 16, 2016
So shocked to hear the tragic news of Antony. A pleasure to have played with and been coached by him. Thoughts are with Olive & his family
— Tommy Bowe (@TommyBowe14) October 16, 2016