21 Oct 2012

Southland rugby player collapses during game

4:36 am on 21 October 2012

A Southland rugby player is in Middlemore hospital in Auckland after collapsing during an ITM championship semi-final at Pukekohe on Saturday afternoon.

Hoani Macdonald collapsed during the first half of Southland's game against Counties-Manukau and was given CPR by paramedics at the ground.

He has been put into an induced coma but is in a stable condition in hospital.

The Southland team's media manager says it is not known at this stage whether he collapsed because of an incident on the ball or off it.

Macdonald, who is 34, has played for the Highlanders and was also a Junior and Maori All Black.

The New Zealand Rugby Union says arrangements are being made for his fiancee, two children and mother to travel from Invercargill to be with him.

Counties-Manukau won the game 48-23 and will host Otago next weekend to see who wins the championship and earns promotion to next year's premiership.