THE fiancee of a talented rugby player who died on a Colchester building site has paid tribute to her “gentle giant”.

Dave Holloway, 35, a New Zealander, died on the JR Pickstock site, off Haven Road, just two days after starting work at the site where a £35million student housing complex is being built.

Nicky McCloy had set up home with Mr Holloway in Colchester and was set to marry him on a game reserve in South Africa in November.

Miss McCloy, a recruitment and HR manager, said: “Dave was the most outgoing, talkative, friendly, loyal and generous ginger gentle giant I have ever known.

“He is alreadymissed all over the world and it speaks volumes of the person he was that he touched so many lives in such a positive way.

“He was so full of life and always ready to offer advice about anything and everything and always made time for anyone who needed it.

“He had such a love of life, music and rugby and had a very good general knowledge and would talk to anyone, any time, whether he had just met them or had known them his whole life.

“He always thought about everyone else. He was the most selfless and generous person you could ever imagine.

“His parents, Jim and Joy, his sisters Kiri and Kathy and little bro Johnny, and me, his fiancee, the rest of my family, and the rest of his family and friends are devastated that he has been taken from us far too soon.”

Mr Holloway had only been working on the site as a slinger signaller – the person who selects and attaches the lifting gear to a load to ensure a safe and secure lifting operation – for two days. It is believed he was crushed to death when a load fell on him at 8.25am on Wednesday.

He loved rugby and, at 6ft 5ins, played to a high level in his homeland, appearing for New Brighton and Suburbs, both in Christchurch, and maintaining a passionate interest in Wellington club rugby.

A serious ankle injury suffered a few years ago curtailed his promising career, but he devoted much of his spare time to coaching.

He moved to England in 2011 and worked for a London company specialising in erecting marquees. It was there he met Miss McCloy, 29, and the couple had arranged a wedding in South Africa as she spent the early part of her life there and Mr Holloway had long dreamed of travelling there.

Also an enthusiastic drummer, Mr Holloway played in a rock band called Parousia and was easily recognisable due to his tattoos, which heavily featured Japanese art.