Parramatta Eels have been rocked by the sudden death of Sean Burns, the club’s strength and conditioning coach.
Burns, who was previously part of Wests Tigers coaching staff, died on Friday.
Eels head coach Stephen Kearney has led the tributes to Burns.
He said: “In the short time Sean was with us he made a profound impression on our entire group of players and staff.
“We are all deeply saddened to learn of his loss – he was a huge part of this team, there’s no other way to put it.”
“Right now our prayers are with Sean’s family in this extremely difficult time.”
Parramatta’s acting chief executive Bob Bentley said the thoughts of everybody at the club were with Burns’ family.
“On behalf of the club, we offer our condolences and sympathy to Sean’s family, they are first and foremost in our thoughts,” he said.
“Sean had developed close bonds with everyone here at the Eels and to find out he’s no longer with us was devastating.
“Our priority now is to ensure all members of staff – be it players, coaches or staff members affected by what has happened – have access to counselling services, our club chaplain and welfare ffficer should they need it.”
A number of current NRL stars have also posted tributes to Burns on Twitter.
Robbie Farah wrote: “You were a good friend and a champion bloke. You will be missed by everyone that was lucky enough to have met you.”
Chris Lawrence wrote: “Hasn’t sunk in, RIP mate. You are going to be missed by everyone. You helped everyone in so many ways. A champion bloke.”