Rugby Player Kelly Meafua Dead at 32 After Falling in French River


The sports community is mourning the loss of a pro rugby player.

Kelly Meafua, 32, fell into the Tarn river in Southern France during the early hours of May 7 and did not survive, according to a statement from his team, the French rugby club US Montauban.

Per CNN, Meafua’s tragic passing came just hours after his team’s 48-40 victory over Narbonne. 

One of his teammates tried to rescue him but did not succeed, per the club statement. The teammate was taken to the hospital to treat his hypothermia and was released on Saturday morning in what the team described as good health. 

“The entire USM Sapiac club is shocked by this tragedy, and has a thought for his wife, his children, his teammates, and more generally, all club lovers,” reads the team statement, translated from French. “Kelly was a player very appreciated by all, his joie de vivre was infectious and radiant.”

All training has been suspended for the time being. 

A spokesman for US Montauban told the outlet are investigating the death. 

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