Fiji star Josua Tuisova decides to miss his seven-year-old son’s funeral to play on at the Rugby World Cup in France despite family tragedy at home – and is set to face England in quarter-finals
- Josua Tuisova learned of his son’s death hours before Fiji played against Georgia
- Tuisova will miss his son’s funeral this week to remain at the Rugby World Cup
- Fiji need just a point against Portugal to secure a place in the quarter-finals
Fiji star Josua Tuisova is making the ultimate sacrifice at the World Cup and will carry on playing in France despite learning of his son’s death last weekend.
Giant ball carrier Tuisova is one of the most important players for the Pacific Islanders who look set to face Steve Borthwick’s England in the quarter-finals.
Isikeli Ratulevu, the centre’s father, informed Tuisova just hours before Fiji’s dramatic 17-12 win over Georgia in Bordeaux last Saturday of his child’s passing at the age of just seven after a long illness.
Fijian website Fiji Village have reported that Tuisova has said he won’t return home from the World Cup and missed his son’s funeral today to stay as part of head coach Simon Raiwalui’s squad.
Fiji are on the verge of making the World Cup knock-out stages for only the third time in their history in France with England likely to be their last-eight opponents.
Fiji star Josua Tuisova is playing on at the Rugby World Cup despite learning of his son’s death
Tuisova played for Fiji against Georgia on Saturday just hours after his son died at home in Fiji
Tuisova missed his son’s funeral today to continue playing at the Rugby World Cup in France
Fiji only need to get one point against Portugal in their final Pool C clash to reach the quarter-finals.
Despite being told of his son’s death on the eve of the Georgia game, Tuisova played 79 minutes and helped his team recover from a 9-0 deficit to claim victory before he was yellow carded late on.
The death of Tuisova’s son Tito was announced on Friday.
‘With heavy hearts, we announce the passing of our beloved Tito Micgabraph Donzel Ratulevu,’ a statement read.
‘He is the son of Mr Josua Tuisova and Mrs Katarina Ladoge Ramoce.
‘Affectionately known as “Tito,” he peacefully departed after a prolonged battle with a debilitating illness in Lautoka hospital.’
The funeral service, which was live streamed, was held at the Votua Catholic Church in the town of Ba.
Footage has emerged of Tuisova greeting fans folllowing Fiji’s match against Georgia.
The funeral was held in Fiji on Tuesday morning with church service having been live streamed
Tuisova’s son Tito died last Wednesday in hospital having been suffering from a long illness
Tuisova has been a crucial to Fiji at the World Cup and scored a try in their win over Australia
The Fijian star reportedly spent over half an hour meeting and thanking fans following their victory, despite the loss of his son ahead of the match.
Tuisova is seen signing merchandise including rugby balls and hats, as well as taking selfies with supporters.
The centre has played a vital role in Fiji’s performances at the World Cup, with the 29-year-old named as the man-of-the-match in their stunning 22-15 win over Australia.
Tuisova, who plays his club rugby in France for Racing 92, scored a crucial second half try in the victory.
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