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  1. ITV Report

Saints' tribute to former player Dan Vickerman

Dan Vickerman celebrating following the 2011 IRB Rugby World Cup quarter final between Australia and South Africa at Wellington Photo: DAVE HUNT/AAP/PA Images

Former Australia lock Dan Vickerman has died aged 37.

The South Africa-born forward, who spent a season in the Aviva Premiership side Northampton Saints, retired from the game in 2012.

His last international appearance coming in the semi-final of the 2011 Rugby World Cup

The former Brumbies and Waratahs player, who made 63 appearances for Australia, died at his family home in Sydney and is survived by wife Sarah and two sons.

Vickerman could have made more appearances for the Wallabies had he not taken a three-year break from international commitments while he studied at Cambridge University.

Cambridge captain Dan Vickerman lifts the trophy after their victory over Oxford in 2009 Credit: David Davies/PA Archive/PA Images

He competed in two Varsity matches against Oxford, leading the Light Blues' to victory in 2009.

After retirement Vickerman worked for the Rugby Union Players' Association.

RUPA chief executive Ross Xenos said in a statement that appeared on Waratahs' official website: "On behalf of all players, we extend our deepest sympathies to Dan's young family at this difficult time.

"We are truly shocked and united in our despair."

Northampton Saints' wrote on their official Twitter feed, "Our thoughts are with the family and friends of former Saint Dan Vickerman, who has passed away aged just 37 #RIP"