The funeral service for Samoan rugby great Peter Fatialofa will be held at the Vodafone Events Centre in Manukau this Wednesday.

In a statement released late this afternoon, Mr Fatialofa's family said a family service would take place at the centre on Tuesday night, while the funeral service is set for 10am on Wednesday morning.

At the conclusion of the funeral service, Mr Fatialofa will be laid to rest at the Manukau Memorial Gardens.

Mr Fatialofa died suddenly on Wednesday in Samoa, aged 54.


From the Ponsonby Rugby Club, Mr Fatialofa played 71 games in the front row for Auckland after debuting in 1984 and, for the following eight years, was a member of the side during one of Auckland's most dominant eras.

A proud Samoan, Mr Fatialofa was one of the first New Zealand-based players to play for Manu Samoa. He captained the side in their first Rugby World Cup campaign in 1991 at which they reached the quarter-finals.

Mr Fatialofa played for Manu Samoa until 1996, the same year he was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to rugby.

His service to Samoan rugby continued to the end, as he was coaching the women's Samoan rugby team in their quest to play at next year's Rugby World Cup in France.

Prior to that, Mr Fatialofa had coached the East Tamaki premier side and contributed to the Auckland Rugby Union Council of Delegates representing Samoan rugby interests.