Fiji centre Josua Tuisova plays on at Rugby World Cup after son’s death

Josua Tuisova has missed the funeral of his seven-year-old son to help Fiji secure qualification for the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup in their final pool match against Portugal.

The Fijian centre was told of his son Tito’s death last week before the team’s game against Georgia on Saturday. The Pacific Islanders recovered from a 9-0 half-time deficit to win 17-12 and leave them needing only one point from this weekend’s meeting with Os Lobos to reach the last eight.

The funeral of Tito, who died after a long illness, took place in Votua, Ba on Tuesday morning. Fiji Village reported that Tuisova’s father, Isikeli Ratulevu, had spoken to the 29-year-old, who said he was unable to attend the funeral.

A funeral notification on behalf of the family said Tito had passed away at a hospital in Lautoka after “a prolonged battle with a debilitating illness”.

Tuisova, who plays for Racing 92 in Paris, was named man of the match in the key pool success over Australia, with the 22-15 victory setting up the Flying Fijians for qualification for the quarter-finals.

If Fiji secure a point against Portugal, they will reach the knockout stage of the Rugby World Cup for only the third time, with England anticipated to be their opponents in the last eight in Marseille.


Story first published on The Guardian

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The Guardian