A friend and former teammate of Seru Rabeni says the bruising ball-carrier was always someone to watch out for on the field but a typical Fijian that people loved to spend time with off it.
Rabeni died of a heart attack on Tuesday at his home in Nausori, aged just 37.
Hale T-Pole played with Rabeni for both the Highlanders and Pacific Islanders and was assigned by the Otago Rugby Union to look after him when he first arrived in New Zealand 16 years ago.
He also remembered their battles when Tonga came up against Fiji.
"It was interesting when you played against Seru because most, all of their backs are the same. I played against him at Otago and he was someone to watch for. He was very destructive on the field but mate just the smile and a typical Fijian that people would love to hang out with. I saw him in Hong Kong last year during the sevens so we caught up there.
Hale T-Pole said things were going well for Rabeni professionally - he was running businesses in Fiji and was due to fly back to Hong Kong this week.
"We were there yesterday (Tuesday) when we got the news of his passing so I caught up with a couple of rugby Fijian legends I played with and then we had a bowl of kava and talked about Seru and went over and saw him last night at the hospital (in Nausori)."
Seru Rabeni is survived by his first wife and two sons in Fiji, and his partner and daughter in Hong Kong, and the Pacific Island Players Association says they will look into how best they can support his family going forward.