The New Zealand Rugby Union says the Southland Stag player Hoani MacDonald has started to come out of an induced coma.
Hoani MacDonald, 34, collapsed in the first half of the ITM cup semi-final game against Counties-Manukau at Pukekohe on Saturday afternoon and was given CPR by paramedics.
Professional Rugby general manager Neil Sorensen says he is showing early positive signs including acknowledging questions and recognising people around him.
However Mr Sorensen says he remains in intensive care at Middlemore Hospital in Auckland and his condition is described as stable.
He says Hoani's family remain at his bedside and appreciate the support they have received.
A review will be held into how officials responded to the incident, which is standard practice when any major injury or incident happens during a match.
Southland Rugby says MacDonald's team-mates are upset and hoping he recovers.
MacDonald has played for the Highlanders and is also a Junior and Maori All Black.