FIJI rugby has lost one of its top mentors in schoolteacher, Eroni Vereivalu.
The Naitasiri man passed away at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital yesterday, two days away from the Southern Zone Secondary Schools rugby finals in which he was to coach the Marist Brothers High School under-18 side.
Last night, the Fiji Rugby Union confirmed the news to Times Sport.
Vereivalu who created history in coaching the Assemblies of God High School under-18 side to its first ever Deans quarter-finals and semi-finals for the past two years would be sadly missed at school level.
His rugby brain and influence will be sadly missed says fellow schoolteacher and southern zone rugby co-ordinator, Biu Colati.
Known for his tactical coaching, Vereivalu has rejuvenated Naitasiri's campaign in the Skipper Cup this season and also guided MBHS to the finals of the southern zone tomorrow.
"It's indeed a sad news to Fiji and secondary school rugby," Colati said.
"The southern zone is very much indebted to him with what he has done especially in coaching AOG to its first ever appearance in the Deans semi-finals and this year, he has taken Marist to another level.
"He has a positive influence, a very hard worker who always strive to achieve success."
Colati and Vereivalu started their rugby administration together.
Colati said Vereivalu was a referee before moving on to become a coach.
On behalf of southern zone rugby, Biu said he sent their condolences to Vereivalu's family.
He said a moment of silence would be held to remember Vereivalu during the zone finals tomorrow at the ANZ Stadium.
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