Australian game mourns loss of talented duo

Two clubs in Australia have been offered counselling after the shock deaths of two talented young stars on the eve of the new season.

Mackay Cutters player Hayden Butler and North Queensland Cowboys under 20s man Regan Grieve have both passed away suddenly, leading to welfare officers from the NRL and Queensland RL flying out to help those closest to the two players deal with the shocking tragedy.

Police have ruled out suspicious circumstances in relation to the two deaths.

“He was an outstanding young bloke … he was a real leader there was no doubt about that,” said Anthony Seibold, Grieve’s Queensland under 18s coach.

“He captained a couple of state sides so you have to show some real leadership qualities to get those types of roles.

“Academically he was very gifted. He was a very talented young bloke both on and off the field. It is just devastating to hear the news.”

St Kilda City president Rod Gamlin said players and staff at his club were devastated by the news.

“We can’t believe it. He was such a good bloke,” Gamlin said.

“We are all shocked by this. He was very talented and even though he was with the Storm I think he could have played AFL too.

“It is just sad mate.”