Former All Black and Manu Samoa legend Dylan Mika has passed away suddenly at 45.
The former Auckland and Blues flanker was a member of the 1999 World Cup squad and played seven tests for the All Blacks.
His family said “he was a hugely talented athlete, well respected in the Samoan community and abroad, but just as importantly to his friends and family, a warm, wonderful, caring man. Gone far too soon at the age of just 45.”
Media are reporting his death as a suspected heart attack.
New Zealand Rugby Chief Executive Steve Tew said the rugby community was stunned by the news and deeply saddened at his passing.
“Dylan is one of the rare talents that represented both Samoa and New Zealand at a time when rugby had not long turned professional".