12 Dec, 11:30
The Ireland Under-19 team to face Australia Schools at Ravenhill this Saturday afternoon (kick-off 2.30pm) has been announced.
'Nevin was a dream player to work with. He was the epitome of what we were looking for. On days when nobody else wanted to come in and train, he was there leading from the front.
"All he wanted to do for the remainder of his career was to stay here, win trophies and be successful for Ulster. He brought his commitment, his passion and his enthusiasm every time he played.
"The characteristics that he showed when he played, those were very much transmitted into how he conducted himself off the pitch.'
SHANE LOGAN (Ulster Rugby CEO) -
'A man who was killed in his prime aged 22 with an immense future in front of him and we know that because in his 22 years Nevin was a model professional and a model individual.
'A man of absolute integrity, complete determination, great humility, a fine team player and an all-round exceptional individual.'
BILLY GLYNN (Irish Rugby Football Union President) -
'This is a terrible tragedy that has struck the Spence family and the thoughts of everybody in Irish rugby are with them at this time.
'Nevin Spence was an outstanding young player which was evident from his progression through the representative ranks and the game has been robbed of a very talented young man.
'The rugby community in Ireland is a very close knit one and there has been widespread shock and an outpouring of grief at this news. On behalf of Irish rugby, I would like to offer our heartfelt support to the family, friends and team-mates of Nevin during this difficult time.'
BALLYNAHINCH RFC (Nevin's club team) -
'It was with great sadness and deep regret that the club learned of the sudden and tragic passing of Nevin Spence, his father Noel and brother Graham in an accident on their family farm.
'Our thoughts and prayers are with the Spence family at this extremely sad time.'
PHILIP GREGG (Ballynahinch RFC chairman) -
'Nevin was one of those guys who gave everything and asked for nothing in return. He was the most popular and personable guy, a giver, not a taker.
'(His brother) Graham also played with the club for a while about seven or eight years ago. All members of the club are thinking about the family circle in these tragic circumstances which are more than any of us can imagine.'
BRIAN MCLAUGHLIN (Former Ulster head coach) -
'Nevin was not just super rugby player, he was a super guy, bright and breezy. He was full of life and fun to be with and a delight to coach.
'He was really into his religion and his beliefs, but he would never force anything on you. He was just so honest, and a lovely bloke. It's heart-breaking.
'I keep having flashbacks of Nevin, and one that continually recurs is that brilliant try he scored in the right hand corner against Bath in December 2010. He ended up doing a head flip after he had dived in. It was the first image that came to mind when I woke up, and now I just can't get it out of my head.'
WALLACE HIGH SCHOOL (Nevin's grammar school) -
'It is with immense sadness that we learnt of the tragic accident which has taken the lives of three members of the Spence family.
'The loss of Nevin, our much respected former student and a role model for so many young rugby players, his brother Graham and his father Noel, is a devastating tragedy.
'Nevin was a glass half full person who possessed kindness, humility and warmth. He left a positive feeling with those whom he spoke to and it was amazing to see such a humble and quietly spoken person transform into a world class rugby player when on the pitch.
'He regularly came back to school to watch matches, talk to the pupils and say hello again to the staff. Only last Friday, he was helping the staff with the organisation of a function in the school. Nothing was too much trouble for him and he always asked about school life and his beloved 1st XV.
'Our thoughts and prayers are with the whole Spence family at this time. We wish our colleague Emma Rice a full recovery.'
BRIAN O'DRISCOLL (Leinster, Ireland and Lions centre) -
'Devastating news about Nevin Spence, his dad and brother. What a wonderful talent he was. Thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.'
NEIL MCCOMB (Ulster second row and team-mate) -
'We truly have some amazing supporters. Your kind words for Nev have been much appreciated by me and the boys. We are going to miss him so much.'
JONATHAN SEXTON (Leinster and Ireland out-half, IRUPA chairman) -
'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.'
CONNACHT RUGBY -
'Connacht Rugby was deeply saddened to hear of the tragic death of Nevin Spence along with his father Noel and brother Graham on Saturday evening.
'On behalf of the Connacht coaching staff, players and supporters we wish to express our deepest sympathies to the Spence family at this extremely difficult time. Our thoughts are also with our colleagues and friends at Ulster Rugby.'
LEINSTER RUGBY -
'It is with deep sadness that Leinster Rugby learned of the tragic passing of Nevin Spence and his father Noel and brother Graham on Saturday evening.
'He featured on a number of underage representative sides with many Leinster players over the years was widely admired as much for his talents on the field as he was for his infectious personality amongst all those who knew and loved him.
'Our thoughts are with Nevin's friends and family as well as our colleagues in Ulster Rugby at this sad time.'
MUNSTER RUGBY -
'Munster Rugby expresses its profound sadness at the tragic deaths of Nevin Spence, his father Noel and brother Graham on Saturday evening.
'The 22-year-old Nevin, who lost his life along with his brother and father in an accident on the family farm, represented Ulster Ravens the previous day in their interprovincial clash with Munster 'A' at Deramore Park.'
BJ BOTHA (Munster and South Africa prop, former Ulster team-mate) -
'So very sad and shocked to hear the news about Nevin Spence, his father and brother. You will be sorely missed my friend.'
IAN MADIGAN (Leinster and Ireland Wolfhounds out-half, former Ireland Under-20 team-mate) -
'Rest in peace Nevin, Noel and Graham. Pleasure to have played alongside Nev. True gent off the pitch and one of the toughest on it. RIP.'
TIERNAN O'HALLORAN (Connacht winger, former Ireland Under-20 team-mate) -
'Absolutely devastating news about Nevin Spence. Inspirational on the pitch and a gentleman off it. Thoughts and prayers to his family. RIP.'
ANDREW CONWAY (Leinster winger, former Ireland Under-20 team-mate) -
'RIP Nevin Spence, brother and father. A more genuine nice guy you couldn't hope to meet. Honoured to call him a team-mate and friend.'
PETER O'MAHONY (Munster back rower, former Ireland Under-20 team-mate) -
'Heart goes out to the Spence family, team-mates and friends. Honoured to have played with and against him. You will be sorely missed Nev. RIP.'
RYAN CALDWELL (Bath and Ireland second row, former Ulster team-mate) -
'Terrible news about Nevin Spence and his family members. Thoughts and prayers are with the family and all his close friends at Ulster Rugby.'
NIAMH BRIGGS (Munster and Ireland Women's full-back) -
'So sad to hear about Nevin Spence and family...such a devastating tragedy. Thoughts and prayers go to his family, friends and all at Ulster Rugby. RIP.'
ROB KEARNEY (Leinster, Ireland and Lions full-back) -
'A horrific tragedy on the Spence farm. Nevin was a lovely guy who won't be forgotten - thoughts and prayers are with his family. RIP Nevin.'
RONAN O'GARA (Munster, Ireland and Lions out-half) -
'We, as a family, are so devastated and the thoughts of all the Munster family are with the Spence family.'
SHANE WILLIAMS (Former Ospreys, Wales and Lions winger) -
'My thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Nevin Spence. A tragic loss. A class act on the field also. RIP.'
DAN CARTER (Crusaders and New Zealand out-half) -
'Such sad news (about Nevin Spence) and my thoughts go out to his family.'
BEN FODEN (Northampton Saints, England and Lions full-back) -
'RIP Nevin Spence and his father and brother. Thoughts are with his family, friends and team-mates at Ulster. Such a tragic accident.'
THOM EVANS (Former Glasgow Warriors and Scotland winger) -
'I am deeply saddened by the news of Nevin Spence. My thoughts and prayers are wit his family.'
DAVID JORDAN (RaboDirect PRO12 tournament director) -
'My thoughts go out to Nevin's family, Ulster Rugby and the wider rugby community. Nevin was a talented young player with a bright future in Irish and world rugby. He will be sorely missed by everyone.'
ANDY IRVINE (RaboDirect PRO12 chairman) -
'The news of the tragic deaths of the Ulster player Nevin Spence, his father and brother on Saturday has hit the rugby community hard around the world. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this terrible time.
'Nevin was one of a fine crop of young players coming through the ranks at Ravenhill and had earned age group honours as well as playing for the Irish Wolfhounds. He was undoubtedly an Irish international in the making.
'It will take time for the Ulster players, management and fans to come to terms with their loss and the RaboDirect PRO12 has been robbed of one of its rising stars.'
JOHN FEEHAN (British & Irish Lions and RaboDirect PRO12 CEO) -
'This is a very sad day for rugby. Nevin was a rising star for his province and country. He will leave a lasting legacy within the rugby community in Ireland. RIP. Stand up for the Ulstermen.'
ENGLISH RUGBY UNION -
'All at the RFU offer sincere condolences to the family of Nevin Spence after Nevin, his dad and brother died in a tragic farming accident. RIP.'
SCOTTISH RUGBY UNION -
'Thinking of all at Ulster Rugby today after the tragic death of their young centre Nevin Spence and his father and brother in a farming accident.'
AUSTRALIAN RUGBY UNION -
'The Qantas Wallabies are saddened by the passing of up and coming Irish rugby star Nevin Spence, his father and brother.'
RYAN JONES (Ospreys, Wales and Lions back rower) -
'Shocked to hear of the death of Nevin Spence and other family members. Thoughts go out to his family, friends and all at Ulster Rugby.'
MATT WILLIAMS (Former Ulster head coach) -
'Shocked to hear about Nevin Spence, his father and brother. Thoughts and prayers are with his family and community. He was a real talent.'
JEROME KAINO (Auckland Blues and New Zealand back rower) -
'All our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Ulster centre Nevin Spence, his father and brother. Sad day.'
RORY MCILROY (Two-time major winning County Down golfer and Ulster fan) -
'Just heard the tragic news of Nevin Spence and his family. Makes you cherish every day you have on this earth. Rest in peace. Stand up for the Ulstermen.'
DARRAN O'SULLIVAN (Kerry Gaelic footballer) -
'Very sad to hear about Nevin Spence and his family. Thoughts go out to all those close to him. RIP.'
TYRONE GAA -
'Tonight we stand shoulder to shoulder with our friends in Ulster Rugby. God bless the family and friends of Nevin Spence, his brother and his dad.'
JOHN MOONEY (Ireland cricket international) -
'Tragic day for Irish sport. Thoughts are with the Spence family today. Stand up for the Ulstermen.'
AARON KERNAN (Armagh Gaelic footballer) -
'Shock yet again after hearing of Nevin Spence, his brother and father's tragic deaths today. God help his family, friends and team-mates. RIP.'
NOEL MCGRATH (Tipperary hurler) -
'Awful news about Nevin Spence, his father and brother. Thoughts go out to their family and friends. RIP.'
KEVIN O'BRIEN (Ireland cricket international) -
'What terrible news coming from Ulster regarding Nevin Spence and his family. Rest in peace.'
AOGAN O FEARGHAIL (Ulster GAA Council President) -
'All of Ulster GAA send their deep condolences to the Spence family on their terrible loss. It is absolutely tragic and comes just days after the death of (Fermanagh Gaelic footballer) Brian Og Maguire.
'Over recent days we have seen two young sportsmen, at the top of their game, lose their lives in tragic accidents. The Spence family have tragically lost a father and a brother as well.'
DESI CURRY (Nevin's former Northern Ireland Under-16 football manager) -
'Nevin played at right back in the team that beat England in 2005 which was our first win against England in the Victory Shield for 72 years.
'I remember he was offered trials in England with Manchester City being one of the clubs interested, but he chose instead to go to Wallace High School to do his A-Levels and went on to excel for them in rugby too.
'I don't know of anyone who has played both football and rugby to such a high level as a schoolboy. He was popular with everyone and was an absolute joy to be around.'
MELANIE NOCHER (Irish Olympic swimmer from County Down) -
'What a shock to hear about Nevin Spence. For all the young lives lost, never take things for granted and live each day to the full. RIP Nevin.'
COLIN GRIFFIN (Irish Olympic race walker) -
'Thinking of the people I know in Ulster today and those who knew and played alongside Nevin Spence, not to mention his family. RIP. Stand up for the Ulstermen.'
CHRIS CUSITER (Glasgow Warriors, Scotland and Lions scrum half) -
'Too much tragic news around this weekend. Life is precious. Thoughts to the family of Nevin Spence. RIP.'
AUSTIN HEALEY (Former Leicester Tigers, England and Lions utility back) -
'RIP Nevin Spence. The whole rugby world mourns when we lose one of our own, especially in this way.'
DANNY CIPRIANI (Sale Sharks and England out-half) -
'Very sad news about Nevin Spence. Thoughts are with all who knew him. Great talent.'
JOSH CHRISTIE (Coleraine lock) -
'RIP Nevin Spence, his brother and father. Privileged to have played with him, great player on the pitch and an even better person off it.'
MARTIN JOYCE (Connacht kit manager) -
'It was great to have known Nevin, worked with him and had some great laughs with him. I remember the Ireland Under-20s playing New Zealand in Japan in 2009 (when I was their kit manager) and Nevin caused them a world of problems.'
GEORGE NORTH (Scarlets and Wales winger) -
'Horrendous news about Nevin Spence and family. Thoughts are with his friends and family. RIP. Stand up for the Ulstermen.'
OLLY BARKLEY (Bath and England centre/out-half) -
'So sad reading all the tweets about Nevin Spence and his family. A great player with such a big career ahead of him. Thoughts are with them all.
'It's times like these when wins and losses fade into insignificance and the thoughts of others must come first. Stand up for the Ulstermen.'
WILL GREENWOOD (Former Leicester Tigers, England and Lions centre) -
'The whole of the rugby community is saddened by the tragic news of the Spence family. Ulster have lost a great servant in young Nevin. Stand up for the Ulstermen.'
NIALL MCGINN (Aberdeen and Northern Ireland international footballer) -
'Watching the news from back home, really sad news on the death of Nevin Spence, his dad and brother. Thoughts and prayers with their family and friends. RIP.'
ELIOTA SAPOLU (Gloucester and Samoa centre/out-half) -
'RIP Nevin Spence and family. Remember him making us look stupid at the Rec (Bath v Ulster in 2010). What a talent. Teach 'em some rugby tricks up there uce. Stand up for the Ulstermen.'
NIGEL OWENS (Welsh international referee) -
'Just heard about the tragic death of Nevin Spence and his dad and brother. So, so sad. My sincere and deepest sympathy to his mum and family.'
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