Fiji centre Josua Tuisova opted to stay with his teammates at the Rugby World Cup in France and missed his seven-year-old son’s funeral.
Josua Tuisova, man of the match in Fiji’s upset Rugby World Cup win over Australia, missed his seven-year-old son’s funeral on Tuesday after opting to stay with his teammates in France, according to Fijian news site Fiji Village.
The 29-year-old centre learned of his son Tito’s death from his father Isikeli Ratulevu shortly before playing against Georgia on Saturday.
Tuisova helped Fiji turn around a 9-0 half-time deficit into a 17-12 victory against the Georgians, although he was sin-binned a minute from time due to a high tackle.
A heartbreaking situation for Fiji's Josua Tuisova 💔
With one point needed to make the quarter finals, Tuisova will sacrifice attending his 7 year old son’s funeral in order to represent his country for the crucial final pool match against Portugal.#RWC2023 pic.twitter.com/RTJqg95jj9
— Rugby on TNT Sports (@rugbyontnt) October 3, 2023
It leaves the Pacific Islanders requiring a point from their final Pool C match with Portugal on Sunday to progress to their third ever quarter-final — and first since 2007 — at the expense of the Australians.
Tuisova, who scored a try in the 22-15 pool win over Australia, will be a pivotal player for the Fijians in a likely quarter-final match-up with England, who they beat for the first time at Twickenham in August.
“With heavy hearts, we announce the passing of our beloved Tito Micgabraph Donzel Ratulevu,” a statement in Fiji read last Friday.
“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.”