Rugby: Former French international Christophe Dominici dies aged 48

One of the main protagonists in the All Blacks Rugby World Cup capitulations of 1999 and 2007 has died, aged 48.

French winger Christophe Dominici terrorised New Zealand at Twickenham in the infamous semi-final more than two decades ago, scoring a stunning try that handed his country a second-half lead they would never lose.  

According to the BBC, a witness saw him climb the roof of a disused building at Saint-Cloud park near Paris on Wednesday [NZ time], before falling, 

Prosecutors have opened an inquiry into the cause of his death.

Dominici scores against the All Blacks
Dominici scores against the All Blacks Photo credit: Getty

The 65-capped international was also part of the 'Les Blues' side that ended the All Blacks' 2007 campaign in the quarter-finals.

Dominici scored 25 tries for France in a nine-year test career that included the World Cup final loss to Australia in 1999.

The news was announced by Stade Francais, where he coached from 2008-09.

"It is with immense sadness and heartbreak that Stade Francais Paris learn of the death of Christophe Dominici," the club says.

"During the 11 years spent in our colours, Christophe, thanks to his incredible talent and his class, greatly contributed to writing the legend of the club.

"An international 65 times, his exploits in the blue jersey have dazzled thousands of young rugby players and allowed the French team to write some of the most beautiful pages in its history.

"A rugby genius and peerless companion, he leaves a great void in our big family. Our hearts go out to his family, his partner Loretta, his daughters Chiara and Mia."

France Rugby also commented on the sudden passing of one of the most popular players of his generation.

"The great French rugby family is in mourning, after the tragic death of our winger Christophe Dominici. We are thinking especially of his family and loved ones."

Former Ireland captain Brian O'Driscoll has also expressed his condolences, tweeting: "Very sad to hear of the sudden passing of Christophe Dominici.

"A French player full of flair with huge success throughout his career. May he RIP."

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