Blues and North Harbour rugby player Michael Tamoaieta died suddenly on Friday.
The 23-year-old was a much-loved partner to Helen and their daughter and a dearly loved son and friend to many, the Blues said in a statement.
Tamoieta was a member of the extended Blues squad and a former New Zealand Secondary Schools representative. He made 11 appearances for North Harbour in the ITM Cup.
Blues CEO Michael Redman said they're stunned by the news and deeply saddened at his passing.
"Michael was a talented athlete and our focus is to offer our support and sympathy for the family and we are supporting our team and staff," said Redman.
His family have asked for privacy as they deal with the shock of his death.
The cause of death has not been made public.
NZ Rugby boss Steve Tew also offered his sympathies.
"Our sincerest condolences are with Michael’s family at this very sad time," Tew said.
"Michael was a valued member of the Blues and North Harbour rugby environments and had been part of the New Zealand Secondary Schools team.
"We know his family, club and former school mates will be feeling this loss and our thoughts are with them all."
More to come
Credit to Newshub.