The West Coast rugby player who underwent emergency brain surgery after collapsing straight after a Heartland Championship match against Poverty Bay in Greymouth on October 1 has woken from his induced coma and is talking again.

Brogan Watt has been in Christchurch Hospital since undergoing surgery that night. He awoke from a coma on Friday.

In a statement today on behalf of the family, New Zealand Rugby Foundation chief executive Lisa Kingi-Bon expressed their gratitude for the positive messages and support from the West Coast community.

"It has been a stressful and worrying time for us all but he is making great progress and is responding well since waking on Friday afternoon.


"It is anticipated that he will be transferred to the Laura Fergusson facility in Christchurch for some ongoing rehabilitation in due course."

The family requested privacy as they support his rehabilitation.

The New Zealand Rugby Foundation, established in 1986, provides life-long support for players who suffer serious injuries due to rugby. This includes funding and emotional support for the players and their families.

West Coast Rugby Union chief executive Mike Connors visited the family on Friday and said there were signs that Watt was improving when he was there.

"Not long after I left the hospital I received reports that there had been more improvement, which is very good news," Connors said.

"Every day, from what I am hearing, Brogan is improving and that is what we want to be hearing."

Watt was initially treated at Grey Base Hospital before being flown to Christchurch Hospital and has since remained in the intensive care unit. He underwent surgery to remove a blood clot to relieve pressure on the brain. Surgeons removed a piece of his skull during the operation.

The 23-year-old made his West Coast rugby debut last year and was one of the star players in the West Coast pack this season.

The Suburbs Rugby League Club, for which Watt also played senior football, has set up a Givealittle page to help with his general living costs, loss of income, and expenses for his family, who now need to be in Christchurch.

- Greymouth Star