Humphries: Nevin's death leaves big hole in Ulster squad
on 16/09/2012 14:40:11
The 22-year-old died yesterday along with his brother and father in a tragic accident.
Spence played 42 times for Ulster and was part of the squad that reached the Heineken Cup final last season.
Spence who made his debut for the province back in 2010, also played twice for the Ireland Wolfhounds and trained with Declan Kidney's Six Nations squad.
His last game was on Friday afternoon when he played for Ulster Ravens against Munster A.
Humphries says he has no doubt that Spence would have become an Irish international.
Humphries said: "In 2008, he came into our academy and I took a very personal interest that coincided with my retirement.
"I remember sitting down with Gary Longwell just after I started my job and we were talking about our succession plan and where we were going to go, and he said one of the players who will come through and play for Ireland is Nevin Spence.
"Unfortunately, with the events of the past 24 hours that is never going to come to that point."
The Irish Rugby Union Players Association (IRUPA ) has also sent its condolences to the family of Nevin Spence.
The association said it is incredibly saddened by the unexpected death of Nevin, his father and brother.
IRUPA Chairman Johnny Sexton said: "This is a sad day for Irish rugby and a particularly sad day for Nevin's Ulster team mates. I speak on behalf of all professional players in Ireland in sending our prayers and thoughts to the Spence family and to all of those closely associated with the family.
"Nevin was a good man, a fantastic young talent and a great ambassador for the sport. He will be sorely missed by the entire rugby community."
IRUPA CEO Omar Hassanein said: "It is in tragic times like these that you really appreciate the value of life and of those close to you.
"We of the Players Association will do everything we can to provide personal support to those close to Nevin, particularly his Ulster team mates who will take some time to recover from the shock they are now experiencing.
"The Irish professional players are a tight knit group who will rally together and help each other through such a tough time. On behalf of the player group we send our deepest condolences to the Spence family."