Foley family "plunged into darkness" by his death

"We share the grief of his loved ones and of the club and offer them our total support", Racing said in a statement.

'The family of Anthony Foley wishes to extend its deepest appreciation to the endless legions of friends and the wider rugby family here and overseas for the huge outpouring of support and sympathy since Anthony's tragic and most untimely passing at the weekend'.

Munster Rugby head coach Foley, who was just 42 years old, passed away in Paris ahead of Munster's Champions Cup clash with Racing 92.

"Our anguish at the sudden loss of Anthony is bottomless", read a Foley family statement.

We again wish to thank everyone for their support; it will help carry us through these darkest days.

Foley captained Munster to their first Heineken Cup final victory in 2006.

Foley, who was 42, also enjoyed a successful club career with Munster as a backrow forward and represented Ireland 62 times. Flags across Limerick were lowered to half-mast.

Among those who signed a message of sympathy in Limerick was David Quilter, principal of St Munchin's College where Foley's rugby career was grounded.

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Pat Whelan, chairman of the Six Nations council, added his tribute by saying: "My thoughts go out to Anthony's wife Olive and their two boys, his parents Brendan and Sheila, Munster Rugby, the IRFU and the wider rugby community".

"He was a legend".

He knew the right things to say at the right time, knew as a captain which buttons to push and whose to leave alone.

"He gave regular talks to our cup sides and was always more comfortable in the dressing room than the staff room. He just carried himself so professionally, (he was) such an influence on a lot of young fellas over the last 30 years". "A awful, terrible time for the Foley family".

"He was a giant among men and a true gentleman", O'Hanlon said.

The plaudits have rolled in for Foley from around country, but the worldwide reaction has been similarly strong, with players and coaches from New Zealand, England, Scotland, Wales, Australia and the rest of the rugby-playing world joining in by sharing their condolences with Foley's family. "As a player and coach his passion and commitment to Munster never wavered and his passing is a significant loss to the game." .

"My whole family are devastated". It's just shell shocking.

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt said: "Over the past few seasons I've had the opportunity to work closely with Axel".

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