France rugby legend Christophe Dominici, dies suddenly at 48

BREAKING NEWS: France and Stade Francais rugby legend Christophe Dominici – who starred when Les Bleus reached the 1999 World Cup final – dies ‘suddenly’ aged 48

  • Christophe Dominici has passed away suddenly at the age of 48
  • The former Stade Francais winger won 67 caps for France in glittering career
  • He starred as Les Bleus shocked All Blacks to reach 1999 Rugby World Cup final 

Former France and Stade Francais winger Christophe Dominici has died aged 48, his former rugby club said on Tuesday.

‘It is with immense sadness that the Stade Francis learns of the death of Christophe Dominici,’ his former club said in a statement.

‘He left his mark on a whole generation of rugby,’ the French Rugby Federation said. ‘Today the rugby family has brutally lost a legend, an emblematic player.’  

Former France and Stade Francais winger Christophe Dominici has died aged 48

Dominici made 67 appearances for France before retiring after the 2007 World Cup

Dominici, pictured centre, taking part in the Riviera Water Bike Challenge in Monaco

Dominici earned 67 caps for Les Bleus and played a starring role in the 1999 World Cup side which famously stunned the All Blacks in the semi-finals before losing to Australia. 

Dominici scored a stunning try in that semi-final victory over a Jonah Lomu-inspired New Zealand, a game widely recognised as the greatest in the history of the Rugby World Cup.

Les Bleus had slipped 24-10 behind at Twickenham before launching an incredible comeback, adding 33 points to just seven conceded to claim an astonishing 44-31 victory.

But they were blown away 35-12 by the Wallabies in the final at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium.

Dominici also represented his country at both the 2003 and 2007 World Cups. He gained notoriety after earning a yellow card for a cynical trip on Jason Robinson during the semi-final against England in Sydney in 2003.

He won four Six Nations titles with Les Bleus, including two grand slams in 1998 and 2004. 

Dominici races over the line as he scores his famous try against the All Blacks in 1999

Dominici infamously earned a yellow card after he sent Jason Robinson flying with a trip

Dominici fends off Welsh tackles during a Six Nations clash at the Stade de France in 2007

Dominici runs at the England defence during a group-stage clash in the 2007 World Cup

He called a halt to his international career after defeat by Argentina in the Bronze medal match at the 2007 tournament, held in France. 

He also starred for La Valette, Toulon and Stade Francais during a glittering club career in his homeland where he won five league titles and appeared in two European finals.

The French rugby Twitter account was quick to pass on its condolences, writing: ‘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.’

Irish legend Brian O’Driscoll tweeted his disbelief at the sudden passing of Dominici, writing: ‘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.’ 

World Rugby also posted a tribute to Dominici on Twitter, which read: ‘A legend of France Rugby and an all-time great of the game. Rest In Peace, Christophe Dominici.’ 

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