Phil Hughes passed away on November 27, 2014 © Getty Images
Phil Hughes passed away on November 27, 2014 © Getty Images

London: Nov 27, 2014

Australian rugby players are set to wear black armbands against England at Twickenham on Saturday as a mark of respect following the shocking death of Test cricketer Phillip Hughes. Wallabies captain Michael Hooper said Thursday his side would be “thinking of Phil and his family” in the run-up to what will be the team’s final international of 2014.

Australia batsman Hughes, 25, died on Thursday after being struck on the head by a bouncer while batting for South Australia against New South Wales at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Tuesday. “There has been a bit of talk about wearing black armbands, and of course if we’re allowed to do that we will,” said Hooper.

“We’ve got enough motivation this weekend, but when we’re wearing the black armbands, we’ll be thinking of him and his family. It’s the kind of news you never want to wake up to,” the flanker explained. “All of us this morning checking our phones: for us as a team it’s a pretty sombre mood.”

Hooper added: “We play in a sport luckily where we don’t see these things happen.”We love our cricket; we have good feelings towards the cricketers. Our thoughts and feelings are with his family and the team back home. I’ve seen the Australian public really extending their well-wishes. Australia loves its sport and that shows positively what our nation’s about. You put any risks to the back of your mind: you do play because of that risk element to some extent, to push yourself and challenge yourself.”

Complete coverage of Phil Hughes’ tragic demise