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Wallabies coach Michael Cheika brought to tears by Phillip Hughes’ death

London: Wallabies coach Michael Cheika was brought to tears by news of Phillip Hughes’ death but hopes his passing does not turn into a debate about the dangers of playing sport.

The Wallabies will pay tribute to Hughes by wearing black armbands for their Test against England at Twickenham on Sunday morning Australian time.

Hughes, 25, died on Thursday, two days after he was hit on the neck by a bouncer and collapsed on the field at the SCG.

The Wallabies and England have also lobbied officials for an appropriate way to remember Hughes at the ground and there will be a minute’s applause before the game after Hughes spent three seasons playing county cricket in England.

Hughes wore a Wallabies jersey earlier this year as part of a cross-sport promotion and Cheika was hit hard by the news, despite never meeting Hughes.

“We just want to show that we care in any small way we can,” Cheika said.

“I don’t know why there’s that connection. I’d never met Phil, but when I heard about it I cried. There’s something that touches you about it and how unfortunate it is.

“All we want to do is show we care and we’re praying for the family, that’s all we can do and any type of respect we can show, we’ll do it.”

Hughes was in a photoshoot with Matt Toomua, Israel Folau and Nic White in Brisbane in June.

The Australian rugby and cricket teams then shared dinner, which was organised by Darren Lehman and then coach Ewen McKenzie.

Hughes’ death has rocked international sport, in particular English cricket.

Fans laid flowers at the Grace Gates at Lord’s, where Hughes spent a season playing for Middlesex.

His former English county teammates paid tribute to him, describing him as a “cheeky chap”.

“It’s simple, we just want to show respect for the family and maybe people will remember the man for another moment,” Cheika said.

“Because it’s something so unlucky and unfortunate and out of the blue … it brings home how you’ve got to enjoy things as much as possible.

“No one expects that to happen on a cricket field. It’s about empathising with the family so they can feel the support in times of mourning.

“Remembering [Hughes] for those moments. [The dangers of sport] will probably be talked about, but I don’t think any sportspeople are thinking about that. The last thing people want is to politicise it, just care for the family.

“I’ve seen the messages from English cricketers and that’s testament to [Hughes] as a player and person that he was widely respected. We just want to show that we were proud of him as well.”

Flags were flown at half mast at Lord’s in a tribute to Hughes. Hughes’ most recent stint in England was with Worcestershire in 2012 and he left a huge impression.

“Phil was a top man and will be very sadly missed,” Worcestershire captain Daryl Mitchell said.

“Cricket-wise he was fantastic for us … he carried us through to the quarter finals really with the runs he got in that competition. He had a fantastic T20.

“The biggest memories will be of Phil as a guy and in the dressing room. He was a top lad and had time for everybody, a lot of dressing room banter and a cheeky chappie.

“Bulls and cricket was what he talked about – probably bulls in front of cricket at times. He was a country boy and proud of where he was from and I think that is what drew him to Worcestershire so much, and how he lived his time here, a small city.

“He wasn’t one for the big lights of London and Sydney, he liked his smaller towns and closer knit community.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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