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Funeral takes place of Exeter rugby player who died after collapsing on pitch

A grey day as Exeter Cathedral bids farewell to a young woman with so much to live for Credit: ITV News
Lily Partridge died after collapsing with a head injury during a rugby training match Credit: Family
Lily's funeral was held at Exeter Cathedral as so many people wanted to attend the service Credit: ITV News
Lily was a registered donor and her organs will be used to help save other lives Credit: ITV News

The funeral of rugby player Lily Partridge has taken place at Exeter Cathedral.

The 23-year-old zookeeper, who was from Topsham near Exeter, collapsed after being injured in a training match earlier this month. She was airlifted to hospital but later died.

Lily was a founding member of the Exonian Ladies Rugby team in Topsham.

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Devon schools get the Rugby World Cup spirit

These pupils in Torbay have come together to build their rugby skills Credit: ITV News

While Rugby World Cup fever has got many of us gripped for at least the next month - the sport is being played by more young people than ever across the South West.

That's partly down to a scheme aimed at getting more boys and girls at secondary schools to take up the game.

Three different schools in Torbay have come together to develop their rugby as part of the All Sports Programme.

Parling but no Slade: England announces team against Wales

Geoff Parling wins a lineout. Credit: Paul Harding/PA

Exeter Chiefs' new lock-forward Geoff Parling has kept his place in the England starting team to face Wales on Saturday in the crunch Rugby World Cup match at Twickenham.

Parling partnered Courtney Lawes in the scrum for the opening match of the tournament last Friday against Fiji but was replaced shortly after time by Joe Launchbury.

Despite an injury to Jonathan Joseph there is still no place in either the starting XV nor the bench for Chiefs centre Henry Slade. Bath's rugby league convert Sam Burgess has been given the nod instead.

Squad to be announced for Rugby World Cup

Jack Nowell at an England training session Credit: PA

Exeter Chief's rugby players will be eagerly awaiting the announcement of England's Rugby World Cup Squad this afternoon.

Henry Slade, Jack Nowell and Geoff Parling are tipped to get into Stuart Lancaster's 31-man squad after an impressive last season which saw the team narrowly miss out on the Premiership play-offs.

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Rugby legend and surprise Barnstaple player Jerry Collins dies

Jerry Collins once turned out for Barnstaple. Credit: Reuters

An international rugby superstar who once made a shock appearance for Barnstaple's second team has been killed in a car crash.

Jerry Collins, 34-year-old former captain of New Zealand's All Blacks, died in a crash in southern France between his car and a bus early this morning, along with his wife. Their three-month-old daughter is in a critical condition in hospital.

In 2007 Collins was staying with friends in North Devon. A chance meeting with Barnstaple's director of rugby meant he ended up coaching the team's young players one night and playing for the second team at Newton Abbot the next day - in a game they were winning until it was abandoned due to an injury.

The All Black later wore his red-and-white Barnstaple socks in an invitational against then World Champions, South Africa.

Barnstaple Rugby described Collins as a "wonderful man" with a "heart of gold" in an emotional tribute on Facebook today.

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Mascot madness at Sandy Park

Mascots in Unison at Sandy Park Credit: Azure Photography

Famous mascots from across Devon joined forces at Sandy Park for some half time fun to celebrate the Rugby World Cup coming to Devon.

The Exeter Chiefs v London Welsh rugby match hosted the mascots from the top attractions throughout the county.

Mascots in Unison at Sandy Park Credit: Azure Photography

This event symbolises the way forward for Devon tourism and demonstrates local tourism businesses putting on a united front and working together across the South West.

We had tourist attractions, accommodation providers, local public transport and charities all joining together to promote the Rugby World Cup and all that Devon has to offer.

– Simon Fishwick, Chairman of Devon’s Top Attractions
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