Fiji star Josua Tuisova told of son’s death hours before Rugby World Cup game

Josua Tuisova’s seven-year-old son passed away after a long illness and the Fiji player will miss the funeral after deciding to stay at the World Cup in France

Harry Latham-Coyle
Tuesday 03 October 2023 10:31 BST
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<p>Josua Tuisova played in Fiji’s match against Georgia after learning the heartbreaking news </p>

Josua Tuisova played in Fiji’s match against Georgia after learning the heartbreaking news

Fiji star Josua Tuisova played in his side’s Rugby World Cup win over Georgia just hours after learning of the death of his seven-year-old son.

Centre Tuisova played 79 minutes of a crucial win in Bordeaux that moved the Pacific Islanders to within a single point of qualification for the quarter-finals.

Isikeli Ratulevu, Tuisova’s father, confirmed to Fiji Village that his son had decided not to return to the island country for the funeral in Votua on Tuesday.

The child’s passing came after a long illness.

Tuisova, 29, will join Racing 92 in Paris at the end of this tournament having spent the entirety of his professional career in the French Top 14 after breaking through on the sevens circuit.

He won gold as part of Fiji’s sevens squad at the Rio Olympics in 2016, while his younger half-brother Filipo Nakosi, a former teammate at Toulon, has also represented his country internationally.

Fiji play their final Pool C game against Portugal in Toulouse on Sunday on the verge of making the last eight.

A win or bonus point of any kind will be sufficient to take Simon Raiwalui’s side through to the knockout stages at the expense of Australia.

It would be the first time that they have appeared in a quarter-final since 2007, though head coach Raiwalui has insisted they are not looking past the challenge of an impressive Portuguese side.

“I am really just worried about Portugal coming up, we have to take care of business,” Raiwalui said. “Prepare well and put on a performance. If we look too far beyond that we are going to slip over.”

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