Pau academy coach James Coughlan has said the backlash to rugby in the wake of the tragic death of Stade Francais teenager Nicolas Chauvin must be kept in perspective, after an editorial in French publication L'Equipe claimed the sport "kills".

Chauvin, a 19-year-old flanker in the Stade academy, broke his neck during an Under-21 game a week and a half ago. He suffered a cardiac arrest and brain damage, dying of his injuries three days later.

His passing has understandably resulted in a huge outpouring of emotion in France, with many calling for the rules of the sport to be seriously examined, but former Munster man Coughlan believes that it was merely a tragic accident that could have occurred in other sports.

"It's incredibly sad. It's an extremely difficult time for his family, I can't imagine what they're going through," he told RTÉ 2fm's Game On.

"But I'm thinking of the Gaelic guys who would have died on the pitch as well and that's why we have cardiac units and defibrillators at all the GAA grounds because of the sudden death syndrome. 

"It's just that, an accident. It's extremely sad and difficult for everyone to understand. But if we get caught up with it and start changing rules and laws and making decisions based on what's happened... sometimes it's just an accident."

On the L'Equipe editorial - "Nobody can pretend there is any doubt anymore. Rugby kills." - Coughlan added: "It's an outrageous statement to make. For anyone to say that rugby kills... when you go to the shop, you could step out on the street and a bus hits you. That's the equivalent of what happened.

"I think if we lose sight of that it's a slippery slope."