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Coaching staff stood down after death of Fiji U20s player

By Chris Jones
(Photo by Koki Nagahama/Getty Images)

The Fiji U20s coaching staff have been stood down and an investigation launched into the circumstances surrounding the death of Ratu Pasikali, son of former Flying Fijians lock Apisai Naevo. The FRU have confirmed it is conducting its own investigation into the incident, examining existing medical protocols to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future.


According to the Fiji Times, former sports minister Parveen Kumar has called on the Government to carry out a thorough investigation into the death of Pasikali. FRU board chairman Humphrey Tawake said an investigation was underway into the death of the 18-year-old, who is alleged to have collapsed during a training session and died at the Lautoka Hospital.

Tawake said: “We have stood the coaching team down and the training for this week, so we will complete our full investigation of what had really transpired. It is not to pinpoint because I have been briefed that all medical protocols were followed.

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“We are awaiting the post-mortem examination to check if there was anything that lacked in our process and medical protocol; if anything had happened and how we can improve on it. That is why the coaching staff has been stood down to allow the independent investigation to be conducted.”

Pasikali was part of the Fiji U20s extended squad and, according to Tawake, the player was not in camp with the team but was attending daily training sessions in Nadi, commuting from home.


The team is preparing for the World Rugby U20 championships in South Africa in June. Pasikali’s father won 34 caps for Fiji in a 10-year career that ended in 2006 and he represented his country at the Rugby World Cup. The teenager’s mother Jessica Naevo told local media that final traditional funeral rites for their second eldest son will begin on Thursday at Nawaka Village in Nadi.



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