Rugby League Samoa says its thoughts are with the family of Alex Elisala, following the sudden death of the Toa Samoa representative.
The North Queensland Cowboys representative was involved in a road accident on Saturday evening, hours after he scored a try for the Mackay Cutters in the Queensland Cup competition.
The President of Rugby League Samoa, Tagaloa Faafouina Su'a told Vinnie Wylie he will be greatly missed.
FAAFOUINA SU'A: "Great to meet him a few weeks ago during the game in the Tonga test. And Alex was the last minute call by the coach to help out with the front line. It's so sad. Our condolences go out to his family and also to the Cowboys club, and also the friends and everyone who's been involved with this time of sorrow and this time of suffering due to Alex's death. There's a Samoan saying, translated as, "We sleep in peace and joy, but death comes to destroy". And I think that's exactly what happened. At this stage, it's still trying to sink in, the tragedy and hoping Rugby League Samoa and our churches in Australia are going to do something to support the family and the friends."
WYLIE: "You only found out about the news just last night?"
FAAFOUINA SU'A: "Yeah, last night at around 12 when our secretary general rang. But I think a lot of people knew it from the social media during the day. Alex's life support got pulled out because he was in a coma. That's the information that I was given after the accident on Saturday night."
WYLIE: "And, of course, from a Samoan perspective, he'd only just made his debut for Samoa."
FAAFOUINA SU'A: "Full of potential. He was young, he was quiet. I'm sure he was looking forward to vie for any position for the upcoming World Cup. Recently, we heard of a Tongan player who died unexpectedly at about the same age. We're just praying for all of the rugby league fraternity around the world. Our condolences go out to the family of Alex and his friends in Australia and to the Cowboys rugby league club and Rugby League Samoa members here in Samoa and around the world."
WYLIE: "And I guess with that World Cup later in the year, the memory of Alex, his team-mates can remember throughout that tournament and try and achieve something for him."
FAAFOUINA SU'A: "Alex's death now sure will give us a push in our preparation. We're having another feature in a few weeks. And going into the World Cup having someone who had 80% or 90% been part of the team of the World Cup squad, but now he's away. So we're definitely short of one of the motivational pillars for our World Cup preparation."