Promising rugby career shattered

Marama Tikomaivalagi shows a picture of her son Joseua Lalauvaki in Nausori. Picture: RAMA/FILE

JOSEUA Lalauvaki, 26, had a promising rugby career before his death, last week, five weeks after he was allegedly assaulted by policemen.

His aunt, Jokaveti Liganamasi, said they were planning to take Joseua to New Zealand to continue his rugby career there.

“We were expecting him to come over but after visiting him in hospital last month my heart just broke because he was no longer able to speak to us,” Mrs Liganamasi said.

Yesterday police spokesperson Ana Naisoro said investigations into Mr Lalauvaki’s alleged assault by police officers were continuing.

Rewa provincial rugby club president, Filipe Tuisawau said what had happened to Mr Lilauvaki was unacceptable.

“We note the release by the Police Commissioner Brigadier General Sitiveni Qiliho on the matter and urge him to personally take charge so that justice is served as quickly as possible,” he said.

He said Mr Lalauvaki was an exceptional player and he would be missed.

“Joseua was a talented player from the Kiuva Rugby Club and he also played for Rewa from 2016-2018,” he said.

“He was part of the initial Drua squad and we were looking forward to the off season program and winning the 2019 Skipper Cup with him.”

The deceased was allegedly bashed by police officers on September 2 and he passed away on Thursday October 11 at the CWM Hospital.

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