'Complete shock' as former Waratah dies in France

1 month ago 21
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By Sam Worthington with Stuff

Former Waratahs subordinate Kelly Meafua has died aged 32 aft jumping disconnected a span portion celebrating a triumph for his nine squad successful France.

Meafua, who represented his commencement state Samoa successful sevens, had astir precocious been playing for Montauban successful France's Pro D2 2nd division.

Reports retired of France said the flanker was celebrating Saturday's (AEST) triumph implicit Narbonne with his teammates earlier helium jumped much than 20 metres from the Pont Vieux span into the Tarn river.

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Kelly Meafua successful enactment for the Waratahs during the 2018 Global Tens astatine Suncorp Stadium. (Getty)

Montauban prop Christopher Vaotoa reportedly went to Meafua's assistance but had to beryllium rescued by firefighters and was taken to infirmary with hypothermia.

Meafua's assemblage was past recovered the pursuing morning.

"Everyone astatine USM (Union Sportive Montauban) is successful implicit shock, Kelly was truthful good liked," the nine said successful a statement.

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Kelly Meafua poses during the Waratahs headshots league successful 2018. (Getty)

Montauban besides posted a tribute to Meafua connected its website.

"USM Sapiac painfully announces the decease of Kelly Meafua connected the nighttime of Friday to Saturday. One of his teammates tried to rescue him, without success.

"Transported to the infirmary for hypothermia, helium (Vaotoa) was released this greeting successful bully health. All grooming is suspended until further notice.

Kelly Meafua successful enactment during a 2014 lucifer betwixt Ponsonby and Otahuhu successful Auckland. (Getty)

"The full USM Sapiac nine is shocked by this tragedy, and has a thought for his wife, his children, his teammates, and much generally, each nine lovers.

"Kelly was a subordinate precise appreciated by all, his joie de vivre (zest for life) was infectious and radiant."

Meafua moved from Samoa to New Zealand arsenic a 14-year-old but didn't play rugby until helium was 20.

He rapidly roseate the ranks successful Auckland earlier moving to Sydney to play for West Harbour successful the Shute Shield.

Meafua past attracted the involvement of the Waratahs with his performances for the Greater Sydney Rams successful the National Rugby Championship.

An awesome 1.88m athlete, Meafua played for the Waratahs successful the Global Tens tourney successful 2018 and was a subordinate of their squad without playing a Super Rugby game.

He past took his talents to France, earning contracts with Beziers and Montauban.

Pacific Rugby Welfare said it was "shocked and saddened to perceive the quality coming retired of France'' and its thoughts were with the families of Meafua and Vaotoa.

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