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Samoa mourns death of two sporting stars

1988 photo of Su'a Saini Lemamea in action
Source: RNZ Pacific

Apia, SAMOA — Samoa is mourning the death of former rugby and league internationals Su'a Saini Lemamea and Masada Iosefa.

Former Manu Samoa lock Su'a Saini Lemamea passed away this week aged 56.

Known by his teammates as 'the Bushman', Su'a played 13 tests and was a key part of Samoa's 1995 Rugby World Cup squad.

Former Manu Samoa Head Coach, Su'a Peter Schuster was sadden by the news of Saini's passing.

"Our Manu Samoa family has lost one of the nicest blokes and team man. He exemplified a great character on and off the field as a gentle giant and always put his body on the line for his mates and country."

Su'a was the current Pulenu'u at Malololelei and is survived by his five children and seven grandchildren.

Meanwhile former Toa Samoa rugby league Masada Iosefa has died following a reported quad-bike accident on Monday, just hours before his 33rd birthday.

Born in Moto'otua, Masada made his NRL debut in 2008 and played 57 games for the Penrith Panthers and Wests Tigers.

He made four appearances for Toa Samoa and was on course to feature in the 2013 World Cup before breaking his arm in a warm-up match.