Former Scotland rugby scrum half Greig Oliver dies aged 58 in freak accident as 'two paragliders smash into each other'

4 July 2023, 09:55 | Updated: 4 July 2023, 11:01

Greig Oliver has died in a paragliding accident
Greig Oliver has died in a paragliding accident. Picture: Getty

By Kit Heren

A Scottish former rugby international has died in a horror paragliding accident in South Africa.

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Greig Oliver, 58, died in the accident in Cape Town, according to Munster, the club where he was working as a coach.

He had been in the country to watch his son play in the under-20 rugby World Cup.

Mr Oliver, who played three times for Scotland between 1987 and 1991, had been a passenger in a tandem flight where two paragliders collided.

The pilot of one of the paragliders jumped out into and fell safely into the sea, but Mr Oliver landed on nearby rocks, the Mirror reported.

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Greig Oliver has died
Greig Oliver has died. Picture: Getty

Emergency workers tried to resuscitate him, but he died.

In a statement, the National Sea Rescue Institute said: “The tandem passenger, a 58 year old man, was on rocks in the water off-shore of the Sea Point Promenade. Despite extensive CPR efforts he was sadly declared deceased by paramedics.”

Munster CEO Ian Flanagan said on the club's website: "We are all in a state of shock following Greig's tragic passing. He was a great colleague and friend to so many and will be dearly missed across the Munster and Irish Rugby community.

"Greig made his presence felt each day, he was always there to provide a helping hand and was a hugely popular character with his light-hearted nature and sense of humour.

Greig Oliver has died
Greig Oliver has died. Picture: Getty

"He had an infectious enthusiasm for the game and was incredibly passionate about helping young players be the best they can be on and off the field. May he rest in peace."

Irish Rugby Football Union chief executive Kevin Potts said: "On behalf of the Irish rugby community, I would like to extend my sincere condolences to the Oliver family at this extremely sad time.

"Greig was a hugely popular member of staff and played a key role in the development of many young players during his time at Munster Rugby.

Greig Oliver has died
Greig Oliver has died. Picture: Getty

"Today's news is an unspeakable tragedy and our thoughts are with Greig's wife Fiona, children Jack and Ciara, and his many friends, family and colleagues. May he rest in peace."

World Rugby chairman Sir Bill Beaumont tweeted: "On behalf of World Rugby and the global rugby family, I would like to extend my deepest sympathies to the Oliver family, the Ireland U20 squad and the Irish rugby community at this difficult time."

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