Former Leicester Tigers and Fiji centre Seru Rabeni has died, aged 37. The Fiji Broadcasting Corporation reports Rabeni, who won 30 international caps for his country and featured in the 2003 and 2007 World Cups, passed away at his home in Nakasi in his native Fiji on Tuesday 15 March. The cause of death is not known at this stage.
Rabeni represented Leicester for five years between 2004 and 2009, making 63 appearances in total.
Leicester chief executive Simon Cohen said: "Seru was a lovely, lovely man, he was extremely friendly, very popular among all the players and the staff. He always had a smile on his face. He always made light of even difficult situations.
"He generally brought warmth to the training ground and the whole of Welford Road. He was a fantastic player, he had the amazing combination of guile, a quick step and huge physicality.
"Those who saw the 2007 Premiership Final will never forget his performance that day."
Tributes have poured in for the former Leicester man, with his former teammate Tom Varndell tweeting:
Fijian-born Lote Tuqiri wrote: "Man just heard the news of Fijian and Leicester Tigers legend Seru Rabeni passing this morning in Fiji. A great man taken way too young at 37."
Saracans and Scotland lock Jim Hamilton, a teammate of Rabeni's for four years at Leicester, wrote: "Really sad waking up to hear that my ex-teammate Seru Rabeni has passed away in Fiji. Incredible player and lovely man."