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Fiji international Kunavore dead at 29

PARIS (AFP) –

Maleli Kunavore

Maleli Kunavore, the former Fiji international wing, seen here in 2007, who played his club rugby for Toulouse in France, has died in hospital in the capital Suva, the Fiji Rugby Union announced on its website on Friday. He was 29.

Maleli Kunavore, the former Fiji international wing who played his club rugby for Toulouse in France, has died in hospital in the capital Suva, the Fiji Rugby Union announced on its website on Friday. He was 29.

Kunavore, who was equally at home at centre or full-back, brought a premature end to his career two years ago after suffering two major injuries to his left arm and undergoing a heart operation in February 2010.

The website gave no cause of death but said simply that he died in Suva Private Hospital.

“It is so sad to lose a fellow rugby player and so young. Kunavore was a very gifted and talented player. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family,” the federation’s development manager, Sale Sorovaki, said on the website.

Kunavore, who played in seven Tests for Fiji, made 80 appearances for Toulouse between 2005 and 2010 and was a member of the championship-winning side of 2008, as well as being part of the Fiji side that reached the 2007 World Cup quarter-finals.

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