Southland rugby player Hoani MacDonald has been treated for cardiac arrest after collapsing during his side's ITM Cup semifinal against Counties Manukau in Pukekohe this afternoon.
The New Zealand Rugby Union has confirmed the 34-year-old MacDonald is in an induced coma and remains in a stable condition at Middlemore Hospital.
MacDonald was given CPR on the side of the field for 10 minutes after collapsing and being put into the recovery position by a teammate, Fairfax Media reported. He was then loaded into an ambulance which remained stationary for some time before heading to hospital.
Play continued in the match while MacDonald was given treatment and television commentary initially suggested MacDonald was substituted with a back injury.
Rugby Southland general manager Brian Hopley is not with the team and was unable to provide an update on MacDonald's condition, while team manager Glenn Morrison could not be reached for comment.
The NZRU is working with Rugby Southland to support MacDonald's family and his team mates. Arrangements are being made for his fiance, two young children and his mother to fly from Invercargill to Auckland to be with him.
MacDonald, who plays loose forward and flanker, made his debut for Southland in 2000 and has also played for the Highlanders the Melbourne Rebels in Super Rugby. At representative level, he made his debut for New Zealand Maori in 2004 and has also played for the Junior All Blacks.