Player Dies After On-field Injury

A Rugby League player seriously injured during a Queensland Cup match in Australia has died in hospital.

James Ackerman, 25, was playing for the Sunshine Coast Falcons when he suffered a head injury in a tackle five minutes into a game against Norths Devils.

The father-of-two was treated on the field at Bishop Park, before being taken to hospital in Brisbane, and the game on Saturday was then abandoned.

Queensland Rugby League (QRL) said on Monday that Ackerman had passed away.

A minute’s silence was held for Ackerman prior to Monday’s NRL game between St George-Illawarra Dragons and Sydney Roosters. Both sets of players also wore black arm bands.

According to Australian newspaper the Courier-Mail, Francis Molo, 20, who made the tackle on Ackerman, is “struggling to cope”.

Sunshine Coast Falcons chief executive officer Chris Flannery described Ackerman as a “champion guy” and “one of our leaders”.

Flannery added: “He lived for rugby league. He was a tough competitor and a fine player who in many ways was the heart and soul of our team.”

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