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Fiji star misses son's funeral to stay with teammates

NEWS: Josua Tuisova, man of the match in Fiji’s upset 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.

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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 0-9 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.

It leaves the Pacific Islanders requiring a point from their final Pool C match with Portugal on Sunday to progress to their third ever quarterfinal – 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 quarterfinal 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.

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“Affectionately known as ‘Tito,’ he peacefully departed after a prolonged battle with a debilitating illness in Lautoka hospital.”

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