Former Brighton rugby player/coach and Sussex teacher Gary Halpin has died at the age of 55.

The Irish international and London Irish and Harlequins professional won 11 caps for his country between 1990-95 and was part of their 1995 World Cup squad in South Africa.

Halpin, who was front row forward, famously scored a try against New Zealand in the pool stages of the 1995 World Cup.

After retiring in 2001, he became a teacher and worked at Newlands School in Seaford until it closed in 2006, where he taught geography and was the head of rugby.

He was also a player/coach at Brighton Rugby Club during the 2001-02 season, where he coached the front row forwards.

Halpin also helped out at Eastbourne Rugby Club.

John Newman, former deputy head of Newlands, said: “Gary was the head of rugby at Newlands School in Seaford for several years until its closure.

“He was a tremendous character and colleague and a powerful teacher both in and out of the classroom, he was known for his wit and his incredible rugby coaching, which influenced the lives of many.

“I wish Carole his wife and his children every sympathy in these difficult times.”

Halpin relished his time playing back in the amateur ranks at Waterhall.

He said at the time: "Brighton have got a nice set-up and I really wanted to keep playing rugby for the sheer love of it.

"I enjoyed being a pro but there were aspects of it I did not like. Playing for Brighton is like getting back to my roots.

"It’s all the same for a prop anyway. You never get the ball whatever level you play at!"