Tributes are pouring in for All Blacks great Va’aiga Tuigamala, who died on Thursday. He was 52.
Known as ‘Inga the Winger’, Tuigamala represented both New Zealand and Samoa in rugby union as well as the Samoan rugby league team in an international career from 1989 to 2001. He was capped 19 times for the All Blacks, including playing at the 1991 World Cup.
Tuigamala also represented Wigan in league and Wasps, and Newcastle and Auckland in the 15-man code. His £1-million deal to join Newcastle in 1997 was a record in the sport at the time.
Absolutely heartbroken!💔 I owe so much to this amazing man! Literally helped change my life when he came to @WiganWarriorsRL from NZ. Sending all my love and condolences to the family at such a sad time. RIP brother 😢🙏🏽 #Inga #VaigaTuigamala @Apollo11Rugby pic.twitter.com/uwyDgrXqRW
— Jason Robinson OBE (@Jason15Robinson) February 24, 2022
It is with great sadness that we have learned of the death of Va’aiga (Inga) Tuigamala.
A true great of both codes who helped us win the 1997-98 Premiership title, Inga will be fondly remembered for his physicality on the field, and his friendship off it.
RIP Inga 💔 pic.twitter.com/P8HwQziF67
— Newcastle Falcons (@FalconsRugby) February 24, 2022
My goodness. Va’aiga Tuigamala has died. He was 52. Before Jonah there was Inga the Winger. A giant in league & union, a phenomenal player.
— Nick Mullins (@andNickMullins) February 24, 2022