- Josua Tuisova learned of his son’s death hours before Fiji played Georgia
- Tuisova will miss his son’s funeral this week to remain at the Rugby World Cup
- Fiji needs just a point against Portugal to secure a place in the quarter-finals
Fijian star Josua Tuisova is making the ultimate sacrifice at the World Cup and will continue playing in France despite learning of his son’s death last weekend.
Giant ball carrier Tuisova is one of the key players for the Pacific Islanders, who will 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 the death of his child at the age of just seven after a long illness.
Fijian website Fiji Village have reported that Tuisova has said he will not return home from the World Cup and that he missed his son’s funeral today to be part of head coach Simon Raiwalui’s squad.
Fiji are on the verge of reaching the knockout stages of the World Cup in France for the third time in their history, with England likely to be their final eight opponents.
Fijian star Josua Tuisova will play 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
The funeral was held in Fiji on Tuesday morning and the church service was streamed live
Fiji only needs to pick up one point against Portugal in their final Pool C match to reach the quarter-finals.
Despite being informed of his son’s death on the eve of the match against Georgia, Tuisova played 79 minutes and helped his team recover from a 9–0 deficit to claim victory before being shown a late yellow card .
The death of Tuisova’s son Tito was announced on Friday.
“It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of our beloved Tito Micgabraph Donzel Ratulevu,” the statement said.
“He is the son of Mr. Josua Tuisova and Mrs. Katarina Ladoge Ramoce.
“Affectionately known as ‘Tito’, he departed peacefully after a lengthy battle with a debilitating illness at Lautoka Hospital.”
The funeral service, which was streamed live, was held at Votua Catholic Church in Ba town.
Tuisova has played a crucial role in Fiji’s performance at the World Cup, with the 29-year-old being named man-of-the-match in their stunning 22-15 win over Australia.
The centre, who plays his club rugby in France for Racing 92, scored a crucial second-half try in the win.