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Rugby Union

Former All Black Va’aiga Tuigamala dies aged 52

Thursday 24 February 2022 | Written by RNZ | Published in New Zealand, Regional

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Former All Black Va’aiga Tuigamala dies aged 52
All Blacks winger Va'inga Tuigamala against a World XV in 1992 Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The former All Black and rugby league player Va'aiga Tuigamala has died, aged 52.

Nicknamed "Inga the Winger", Tuigamala made his All Blacks debut in 1989 and was capped 19 times by the national team, before switching to rugby league and representing Samoa at the 1995 World Cup.

In a statement, his former club said the "Wigan Warriors are deeply saddened to learn of the tragic news that former player Va'aiga (Inga) Tuigamala has passed away."

"Wigan Warriors send their deepest condolences to the family and friends at this awful time."

The club did not give a cause for his death.

Tuigamala later returned to rugby union and signed for the Newcastle Falcons in a then world-record deal worth 1 million pounds.

His former Wigan team mate Kris Radlinski tweeted: "Every now and then a player comes along who touches the heart and soul... Inga was one of them. He was one of the most exciting rugby players to play either code. His presence on the rugby field was huge."

Reuters