Seru Rabeni’s passing shocked the rugby world today. The former Fijian powerhouse was just 37-years-old. He died this morning in his home in Nakasi, with the cause of death speculated to have been a heart attack, while other sources said he was ill for some time.
Rabeni made his debut for Fiji 7s at the Dubai 7s in 1998, before earning a total of 30 caps for the senior Test team, including appearances at both the 2003 and 2007 Rugby World Cups.
When the Pacific Islanders were in action, Rabeni made 9 appearances, while also playing club rugby for the likes of the Otago Highlanders in New Zealand, La Rochelle in France, and Leicester Tigers and Leeds in England. He also played at the 2002 Commonwealth Games.
Built like a forward, Rabeni was one of the hardest tackling players of his era, as well as being a great stepper and midfield powerhouse in general.
Leicester will hold a minute’s applause in Sunday’s Aviva Premiership match against Saracens at Welford Road for their former star, who scored 18 tries in 63 club appearances.
Man just heard the news of Fijian and @LeicesterTigers legend Seru Rabeni passing this morning in Fiji. A great man taken way too young @ 37
— Lote Tuqiri (@LoteTuqiri) March 15, 2016
— The Highlanders (@Highlanders) March 15, 2016
Stunned! RIP Seru Rabeni. Absolutely hated every minute playing against you constantly smashing and stepping me. One of the Pacific Greats ????
— fuimaono-sapolu (@Eliota_Sapolu) March 15, 2016
— Casey Laulala (@CaseyLaulala) March 15, 2016
We are shocked and saddened to hear of the passing of Seru Rabeni. Our thoughts go to all his friends and family pic.twitter.com/QN07b4bgUO
— Leicester Tigers (@LeicesterTigers) March 15, 2016
Absolutely gutted to hear about my mate Seru. Thoughts are with his family in Fiji.
— Geordanmurphy (@geordanmurphy) March 15, 2016
Seru Rabeni’s passing is incredibly sad. What a player and a team man. Our support and best wishes go to his family.
— Jonny Wilkinson (@JonnyWilkinson) March 15, 2016
Shocked to hear about Seru Rabeni. Legend of the game! Gav remembers him well. Wonderful player, gone too soon. RIP pic.twitter.com/fULR23YGRM
— Rugbydump.com (@Rugbydump) March 15, 2016