Fiji tragedy as star’s dad dies before England tie after team-mate’s son’s death
FIJI have been hit by tragedy ahead of their World Cup quarter-final against England.
Just a week after Josua Tuisova’s son tragically passed away aged seven, Fiji chiefs confirmed the father of Sam Matavesi has sadly died too.
Fiji face England on Sunday looking to book their place in the last four of the World Cup.
They already have the upper hand on Red Rose, having recorded a famous 30-22 win over them at Twickenham in August.
However, hooker Matavesi is now back in England dealing with a personal tragedy after his dad Sireli passed away.
The Northampton Saints star, 31, featured in all of Fiji’s games during the World Cup, including their fine win over Eddie Jones’ Australia.
But Matavesi, the younger brother of 47-time Fiji ace Josh, is expected to return to France for his country’s crunch clash in just four days’ time.
A statement by the Fiji Rugby Union read: “It is with heavy hearts that the Fiji Rugby Union, The Flying Fijians Team and Head Coach Simon Raiwalui share the news of our hooker Sam Matavesi and former Flying Fijian Josh Matavesi, who have lost their beloved father, The Late Sireli Matavesi.
“Our thoughts and deepest condolences go out to the Matavesi family during this incredibly difficult time.
“We keep Sam, Josh and their families in our thoughts and prayers.”
Fiji’s kicking coach Seremaia Bai added: “We would like to send our condolences to Sam and the family.
“He’s one of our senior leaders and we’ll see in a couple of days if he is going to join us.
“For us in Fiji family is everything, If one suffers, we all emotionally suffer. We know every players’ family comes from humble beginnings so we make sure they have the care and love they need.
“It’s a very tough moment, we need to stay together for one another.”
Matavesi’s loss comes after Tuisova’s son died from a long illness aged just seven.
The star was told just hours before playing in Fiji’s 17-12 win against Georgia.
And Tuisova missed the funeral to remain at his nation’s camp before their defeat to Portugal.
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