Samoan rugby player Kelly Meafua dead after jumping from bridge while out celebrating win

NEWS: Samoan rugby player Kelly Meafua dead after jumping from bridge while out celebrating win

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A Samoan rugby player has died after jumping off of a bridge in France while out celebrating a victory, according to reports.

Kelly Meafua, 32, a member of the French rugby club US Montauban, died after leaping into the river Tarn after their final game of the season in France’s second-tier rugby league early Saturday morning, the club confirmed.

Meafua had been out celebrating his club’s 48-40 win over Narbonne with teammate  Christopher Vaotoa when he jumped, French media reported, according to The Guardian.

Vaota jumped into the water to try and save Meafua but was unsuccessful, Montauban said. He was taken to a hospital and treated for hypothermia and has since been released.

The club has been left stunned by the sudden loss.

“The entire club is shocked and everyone is thinking of his wife, his children, his teammates and more generally everyone who loves the club,” a club statement said.

“Kelly was a player who was well liked by everybody. His joy for life was infectious and radiant. Today we have lost a player, a friend and a brother.”

The Samoan native moved to New Zealand as a teenager, and did not begin playing rugby until he was 20 years old, The Guardian reported.

He spent time in leagues in New Zealand and Australia before making his way to France in 2015.

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