Samoan rugby player dies after jump from bridge

The late Kelly Meafua
The late Kelly Meafua
Phil Walter/Getty Images

Samoan back row forward Kelly Meafua died on Friday night after jumping from a bridge into the river Tarn, AFP learned from a source close to his club Montauban, confirming reports in La Depeche du Midi.

Earlier in the evening, the 31-year-old had played in his side's 48-40 win over Narbonne in the French second division.

According to several testimonies, Meafua had been celebrating with his teammates their last home game of the season in a downtown nightclub before he was seen jumping from the Pont-Vieux.

One of his teammates, French prop Christopher Vaotoa, jumped into the water to help him.

Rescued by firefighters, Vaotoa was taken to hospital in a state of hypothermia before Meafua's body was found early Saturday morning.

Meafua played Sevens for Samoa and first came to France to play for Narbonne in 2015. He returned to play for Beziers in 2018 before switching to Montauban last season.

This season he had played 24 matches in Pro2, scoring eight tries.

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