Boulogne-Billancourt (AFP)

At least two hundred people, including the president of the French Rugby Federation Bernard Laporte, attended a religious ceremony in Boulogne-Billancourt (Hauts-de-Seine) on Wednesday for the funeral Christophe Dominici, who died on November 24 at the age of 48 years old.

The funeral of the former international winger (67 selections), five-time champion of France with the French Stadium, is organized in two stages with another religious ceremony scheduled for Friday in Hyères, in the Var, his department of origin, where he must to be buried.

Among the other personalities present in the Sainte-Cécile church, located a few hundred meters from the Jean-Bouin stadium, were players from the Stade Français, including the center of the XV of France Gaël Fickou, the former president of the Parisian club Max Guazzini and the current Stade francais coach Gonzalo Quesada, noted an AFP journalist.

Former players also attended the ceremony which lasted a little over two hours, such as Philippe Bernat-Salles who had participated alongside Dominici in the famous 1999 World Cup semi-final won by the XV of France against the All Blacks, and the former third row of the French Stadium Pierre Rabadan, current sports assistant to the mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo.

The disappearance of Christophe Dominici has caused a wave of emotion on rugby lawns in France throughout the past week.

The French Stadium and Toulon, where "Domi" also played from 1993 to 1997, are considering creating a trophy that would bear his name to pay tribute to him.

Dominici, who marked the history of rugby with his successes with the XV of France (67 selections, 25 tries, 4 victories in the Tournament including 2 Grand Slams, finalist in the 1999 World Cup) as at the Stade Français (5 Boucliers de Brennus) died suddenly on Tuesday, November 24, at the age of 48, falling from an elevated road on the outskirts of Saint-Cloud park.

© 2020 AFP