WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Back rower Vaea Fifita will travel to Australia with the All Blacks for next week’s Bledisloe Cup rugby test despite the recent death of his younger brother in the United States.
Fifita’s 21-year-old brother Albert Mapa accidentally drowned July 27 after jumping from a bridge into the Provo River near Salt Lake City, Utah. His body was recovered by emergency services and his funeral was due to take place in Salt Lake City on Saturday.
Fifita would not comment to media but tweeted “we are struggling to understand why you had to go so young but I know you’re in a better place. I’m so glad you made it to my wedding to stand by my side.”
Australia plays New Zealand on Aug. 10 in Perth, Western Australia.