Va'aiga Tuigamala: Wigan Warriors legend dies at the age of 52

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Wigan Warriors legend Va'aiga Tuigamala has died at the age of 52.

The former winger and centre played both codes of the sport, and represented both New Zealand and Samoa at international level.

He first moved over to England in 1993, where he became part of a successful Wigan team.

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During his five years at Central Park, he scored 62 tries in 102 appearances, and was a popular figure with the fans.

Va'aiga Tuigamala has died at the age of 52Va'aiga Tuigamala has died at the age of 52
Va'aiga Tuigamala has died at the age of 52

His honours included two Challenge Cups and the World Club Challenge.

His former Wigan team mate Jason Robinson took to social media following the news.

He wrote: "Absolutely heartbroken! I owe so much to this amazing man! Literally helped change my life when he came to Wigan Warriors from NZ. Sending all my love and condolences to the family at such a sad time. RIP brother."

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Wigan Warriors executive director, Kris Radlinski, also paid tribute.

He said: “Every now and then a player comes along who touches the heart and soul of every single fan, player, coach and administrator – Inga was one of them.

"He was one of the most exciting rugby players to play either code. His presence on the rugby field was huge.

"As a teenager, he gave me the most precious thing that anyone could, time. We would spend hours on the field doing one on one’s together. It is a very sad day for the Club. Rest in peace my friend.”

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Tuigamala also played for Auckland, Wasps and Newcastle during his Union career.

A minutes silence will be held at the DW Stadium ahead of the game between Wigan Warriors and Huddersfield Giants.

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