The founder of rugby league in Burundi, Jean Du Christ Rusiga, has passed away after suffering a heart attack while coaching in Bujumbura. A statement from the Burundi RLA said: “It is with deep sadness and heavy hearts that we inform you of the death of a father, mentor, coach and friend, Jean Du Christ Rusiga (Christus), who passed away unexpectedly doing what he loves the most, coaching rugby. We will all miss him more than words can express. He was not just our coach but a mentor as well.”

Middle East Africa regional director, Remond Safi, commented: “On behalf of MEA I would like to pass on our deepest condolences to Jean Du Christ Rusiga’s family and Burundi Rugby League, he will be missed by many that have met him and worked with him in the sport, his passion for it was undoubted.”

ERL chair, Dean Andrew, added: “On behalf of all the members of European Rugby League, especially those in our Middle East Africa region, I’d like to extend our condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Jean Du Christ Rusiga. Rugby league development in places such as Burundi relies on the efforts of great volunteers, and he will be missed as a pioneer in the country and the wider area.”

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