Former France rugby union star Christophe Dominici has passed away at the age of 48.

The retired winger featured for Les Blues at the 1999 and 2003 World Cups and made 67 appearances for the national side.

His death was reported by French outlets earlier on Tuesday.

Dominici's passing is reported as being sudden and unexpected, with fans mourning his death on social media.

One said: "Shocking to hear about Christophe Dominici.

"Used to love watching him play when I was growing up. Such an exciting winger. Desperately sad news."

Another added: "What a player RIP Christophe Dominici."

Dominici scored the try that shocked New Zealand in the 1999 World Cup semi-final, sending France to the final where they lost to Australia.

The speedy wide man also featured in the 2003 semi-final against England.

Since retiring in 2008, Dominici has dedicated himself to other rugby projects.

Only three weeks ago the former player was doing punditry work for France's Six Nations clashes.

And in the summer, Dominici headed up a consortium that planned to buy second-tier French club Beziers.

“The first time we came to Beziers it was to see if we would buy a vineyard,” a statement said from the group over the summer.

“The friendly and warm welcome made us appreciate the region and its people with their accent which charmed us.

"In the warmth of discussions, we were shown the difficulties Beziers face, and we were asked to offer our support."

Dominici played for La Valette, Toulon and Stade Francais during his club career.