French US rugby club Montauban has confirmed that the 32-year-old forward did not survive the fall into the River Tarn in the early hours of Saturday morning, despite efforts by a teammate to save him.
The club said Meafua’s Montauban teammate tried to revive and save him but had to be rescued by firefighters himself. He was hospitalized for hypothermia and discharged the next day.
“The whole USM Sapiac club is shocked by this tragedy and all thoughts are turned to his wife, his children, his teammates and, more generally, to all the loyal fans of the club”, the statement continues. .
The message, translated from the French, also paid homage to Meafua as a player “appreciated by all, his cheerfulness was communicative and radiant”.
“Today we lost a player, a friend, a brother,” added the former Samoan Sevens star.
Jean-Baptiste Fourcade, a US spokesman for Montauban, told CNN Monday that the Montauban prosecutor has opened an investigation into Meafua’s death, adding that officials view it as a “tragedy” and not “a bad end for. a party”.
After moving to France in 2015, the Guardian reported, Meafu played for French second-tier teams Béziers and Narbonne.