The International Rugby Board was saddened to hear of the passing of one of the great figures of Samoan Rugby, Papali’itele Peter Fatialofa, who has died in Samoa aged 54.
Captain and loose-head prop for Samoa at Rugby World Cup 1991, Fatialofa, who was affectionately known as “Fats”, played 34 Tests for his country and continued to serve the Game in his home country after his playing days.
He served as forwards coach for the national team and, later, as assistant coach for the Under 20s at the IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy 2011 and, up to the time of his death, he was coaching the national women’s team towards next year’s Women’s Rugby World Cup in France.
IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset said: “Peter’s influence on Samoan Rugby was immense and through his passion and hard work he was always a well-respected champion for the Game, both in his native land and throughout the Pacific Islands.”
“He was instrumental in the early stages of establishing the current a high-performance structure in Samoa playing a vital role in developing the academy programme to provide talented Under 20s players with quality training facilities and development opportunities. His influence on the terrific progress that we have seen in Samoa over the past six years of the IRB’s strategic investment programme has been significant.”
“The fact that he was recently involved with the national Under 20s and the women’s teams showed his ongoing commitment to all levels of the game as a coach and mentor to the next generation of Samoan Rugby stars. He leaves an enduring legacy as a true Rugby man who gave so much to the Game expecting nothing in return except the pleasure of seeing Samoan players excel on the world stage.”
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