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Ex-France rugby international Christophe Dominici found dead at 48

Former French rugby international Christophe Dominici has been found dead at the age of 48 in a park near Paris, police said Tuesday.

Dominici, who played 67 times for France, was seen by a witness jumping from the roof of a disused building in the Saint-Cloud park, police said.

The diminutive Dominici — he was 1.72m and 82kg — scored 25 tries in 67 Tests for France, including eight tries across three World Cups. 

He had a deceptive change of pace and a shimmy that could lose and confuse defenders.

His most celebrated moment came in the 1999 World Cup semi-final against New Zealand when his second-half try, grabbing a bouncing ball one-handed and then skating down the left touchline, put the French ahead as they reached the final with a remarkable comeback. 

Dominici enjoyed a glittering club career, first with Toulon in southeast France, where he was born, and then at Paris-based Stade Francais with whom he won the French championship five times. 

After he retired, then-national coach Bernard Laporte gave Dominici a coaching role. He also worked as a media pundit.

Off the field, Dominici suffered bouts of depression. In his 2007 autobiography, he admitted a personal loss had triggered depression and that he had been abused as a child.

He returned to the public eye in the summer when he fronted an Emirates-based bid to take over Beziers rugby club which petered out when a financial investigation into its viability.

The French Rugby Federation said Dominici had “left his imprint on an entire generation of rugby”.

“Today, the rugby family has lost a legend and an emblematic player,” it added in a statement.

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