A senior corrections officer at a central North Island prison is crediting his first aid training with helping him save the life of a teenage rugby player.

Waikeria Prison officer Stuart Dexter was coaching the Te Awamutu College under 55kg rugby team when one of his players choked on a gobstopper lolly and stopped breathing.

He says he got two boys to call for an ambulance, before using first aid to dislodge the lolly.

Waikeria Prison Principal Instructor and team parent Bryan Frederick says the boys were left shaken but are relieved their teammate survived.

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Coach "Dex" will now be enforcing a "no lollies" rule at all of the team's practices.