Fiji wing dies aged 29
Maleli Kunavore (AFP Photo)
Suva - Former Fiji and Toulouse wing Maleli Kunavore has died at the age of 29, the Fiji Rugby Union said Saturday.
The cause of death was not immediately known but Kunavore had undergone a cardiac operation in France two years ago before retiring from professional rugby.
"It is so sad to lose a fellow rugby player and at such a young age," Fiji Rugby Union development manager Sale Sorovaki said.
"Kunavore was a very gifted and talented player and our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, may he rest in peace."
His father Joeli Nagiri told the Fiji Times that Kunavore had been dining with former Flying Fijians teammates Norman Ligairi and Semisi Naevo on Thursday shortly before his death.
"I had called him a few hours earlier and I was shocked when his wife called back to tell us the sad news," he said.
Kunavore played seven Tests at either wing or centre for Fiji, starting his international career in 2005 the same year he was signed by French Top 14 side Toulouse.
He was also a member of the Fiji squad which reached the quarter-finals of the 2007 World Cup.