Rugby Player dies of suspected head injury

27 year old rugby player Faiva Tagatauli who passed away last night

APIA, SAMOA – THURSDAY 24 JANUARY 2019: Condolences are flowing in as the Vaimoso Rugby Club expresses sadness over the loss of one of their Senior A players, 27 year old Faiva Tagatauli who passed away at the national hospital last night.

In a statement late this afternoon, the Vaimoso Rugby Club said Faiva passed away surrounded by his family and players from the Vaimoso Rugby Club.

Tagatauli was injured at a rugby game last Saturday at the HPU Rugby Field at Tuana’imato.

Team Manager Tauiliili Polito Vili said that Faiva had called out wanting to be substituted 30 minutes into the 2nd half of their match against Vailele last Saturday. There were no visible incidents that led to his injury.

“When the maul disbursed, Faiva stood up and that was when he called out to me,” said Tauiliili. “He walked off the field, came around to me and said that he was not feeling well.” He was given water and ice, but not long after that he collapsed.

The Apia Rugby Union Secretary then called the ambulance that arrived within 7 minutes. The ambulance staff attended to Faiva and worked on him for some time before he was taken to the hospital. Faiva was taken to the emergency at Motootua hospital, and after x-rays, a visiting neurologist performed surgery on him.

“I contacted Faiva’s wife. The doctors waited for Seutatia to arrive and signed off before they took him into surgery,” said Tauiliili.
“The result of the x-rays showed that there was internal bleeding on the right side of the brain, and the doctors said that it was lucky we were able to get him to the hospital on time.”

“This is a very sad loss for the Vaimoso Rugby Club,” said Tauiliili. “We have been by the side of the family, especially his wife since the incident on Saturday, offering our support and giving some money to help with expenses.”

Faiva had not played all of last year, and this was his first game of the season. “He loved the game of rugby, and this is a sad loss. Vaimoso Rugby Club will dedicate this weekend’s shield match against Vaiala to Faiva Tagatauli. All our players will be wearing black armbands as a tribute to Faiva.”

The Apia Rugby Union Secretary, Tafaoimalo Laifa Vaoiva Petersen, said that they are in close contact with the family and will be offering their assistance.

“The Apia Rugby Union will be offering support and monetary assistance to help Faiva’s family with costs. We know that Vaimoso Rugby Club is also going to do the same.”

The loss will be felt throughout the 11 clubs of Apia Rugby Union and across the rugby family of players. “All matches this Saturday will observe a moment of silence, and I know that Vaimoso will be bringing everything they have to the shield match in dedication to Faiva.”
The Apia Rugby Union conveys their deepest condolences to the family of Faiva, especially his wife and son.

The Samoa Rugby Union CEO, Faleomavaega Vincent Fepuleai expressed SRU’s condolences.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Faiva’s wife Seutatia, and their son as well as their family at Fagamalo at this time. We also express our condolences to the Vaimoso Rugby Club who have lost a popular team mate. We will do all possible within our means to offer the support in this difficult time.

“The Union prioritises and recognises the importance of player welfare. We work closely with the Rugby Players Associations and World Rugby to ensure training and awareness programs are rolled out through match officials, coaches and administrators.”

Faiva Tagatauli played for Samoa’s Under 20 in 2011 under John Schuster. The team went on to win the Junior World Trophy in Georgia. He also played in the Super 9 tournament.