Uto ʻEnosi Tuipulotu died after fighting a rare form of cancer in Christchurch Hospital, a source close to the family has confirmed.
The cancer was “an unexpected diagnosis after his heart started racing at rugby training a couple of months ago”, Fairfax Media reported.
According to “Akaroa Area School teacher Garry Brittenden, who helped bring Tuipulotu from Tonga to Akaroa in 2012, the rare form of cancer was a soft tissue sarcoma”.
“It’s so rare they [doctors] are saying it’s a new thing for them”, Brittenden told Fairfax.
It was understood ‘Uto’s two brothers arrived in Christchurch with mother Lapulou Hola ʻEnosi this week, while his father, Siaosi, has already been in the city.