Former Scotland rugby star Greig Oliver dies in paragliding accident

Former Scottish rugby star Greig Oliver has died in a paragliding accident.

The former Scrum half, 58, died in the incident in Cape Town, South Africa.

Greig Oliver died in a paragliding accident in South Africa


Greig Oliver died in a paragliding accident in South AfricaPhoto credit: Sportsfile
He won three caps for Scotland, once at the 1987 World Cup and once in 1991, both against Zimbabwe.


He won three caps for Scotland, once at the 1987 World Cup and once in 1991, both against Zimbabwe.Photo credit: SNS

Oliver was the manager of Irish rugby team Munster who today confirmed the tragic news.

Filling the role of the club’s elite performance officer, Oliver was in South Africa with his wife Fiona to support their son Jack and the rest of the Irish side, who are currently competing in the Rugby World Cup U20, when the tragic accident happened .

The rugby coach was a passenger on a tandem flight off the Cape Town coast.

Two tandem paragliders are believed to crash into each other on the scenic Sea Point Promenade.

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The pilot of one deployed a reserve parachute and dove safely into the surf.

Tragically, however, the Irish rugby ace is believed to have landed on rocks about 200 yards away.

South Africa’s National Sea Rescue Institute said lifeguards and paramedics ran to the scene of the accident at 4.28pm local time yesterday after being alerted.

Oliver received cardiopulmonary resuscitation but was tragically pronounced dead shortly thereafter.

The pilot and passenger of the other paraglider both landed safely.

The NSRI said the pilot of the Oliver was “treated for minor injuries”.

Oliver won three caps for Scotland, once at the 1987 World Cup and once in 1991, both against Zimbabwe.

After the devastating news, tributes were plentiful for the former Scotland star.

His Hawick-Scotland team-mate Tony Stanger, who was one of Scotland’s top scorers in their World Cup home game against Zimbabwe, paid tribute to Oliver tonight.

Stanger said: “When I first came to the Hawick team I was a very quiet, shy boy. A lot of the players were a lot older than me, but Greig was a bit older for my age and I always connected to him.

“We obviously spent a lot of time together in rugby where he was the fiercest competitor and always had that attitude that he had to play to his potential as much as possible.

“I have nothing but great memories of him as a rugby player but also as a person. He was a top guy. It’s just such terribly sad news.”

Munster CEO Ian Flanagan said on the club’s website: “Following Greig’s tragic death, we are all in shock. He has been a great colleague and friend to so many and will be sorely missed throughout the Munster and Irish rugby community.

“Greig was present every day, always there to help and was a hugely popular character with his easygoing nature and sense of humour.

“He had an infectious enthusiasm for the game and was incredibly passionate about helping young players do their best on and off the pitch.” May he rest in peace.”

Irish Rugby Football Union chief executive Kevin Potts said: “On behalf of the Irish rugby community, I would like to offer my sincere condolences to the Oliver family at this extremely sad time.”

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“Greig was an extremely popular staff member and played a key role in the development of many young players during his time at Munster Rugby.

“Today’s news is an unspeakable tragedy and our thoughts are with Greig’s wife Fiona, his children Jack and Ciara and his many friends, family and colleagues. Rest in peace.”

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Zack Zwiezen

Zack Zwiezen is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Zack Zwiezen joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing

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