Blues prop Michael Tamoaieta has died suddenly at the age of 23, New Zealand Rugby has confirmed.
Tamoaieta made his debut for the Blues in Super Rugby last year and also featured for North Harbour.
New Zealand Rugby chief executive Steve Tew paid tribute to the forward, stating: “Our sincerest condolences are with Michael’s family at this very sad time.
“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.”
Michael Redman, the Blues chief executive, added: “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, some of whom are currently overseas.”
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