22 Oct 2012

Southland rugby player out of coma

2:45 pm on 22 October 2012

A Southland rugby player who collapsed during the ITM Cup semi-final in Auckland is out of an induced coma and talking.

Hoani MacDonald, a former junior and Maori All Black, went into cardiac arrest in the first half of the game against Counties-Manukau at Pukekohe on Saturday.

The 34-year-old was given CPR by paramedics at the field before being taken to Auckland's Middlemore Hospital intensive care unit.

The hospital said MacDonald came out of the coma late on Sunday night and described his condition as stable. He has been transferred to the coronary care ward.

MacDonald has sent thanks to everyone who has shown support for him and his family over the past two days.

Rugby Southland says the incident appeared to be completely random as the player had no problems with his health.

General manager Brian Hopley said that whether the game should have been called off is a matter for the New Zealand Rugby Union.

The Southland team arrived back in Invercargill on Sunday and teammates have been kept up-to-date about MacDonald's condition.