A club rugby player has died in a car crash near Wellington, just hours after Saturday's Lions game in the city.

Emergency services were called to the scene on the motorway north of Silverstream in the Hutt Valley at 4am on Sunday.

Police said a car collided with a ute leaving one man dead.

NZME have confirmed the man who died played for the Petone Rugby Club.

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The chairman of the club said he did not want to comment tonight out of respect for teh family.

The man had not been watching the game at the club, which has hosted a number of events around the Lions Tour.

In the crash, another person was airlifted to hospital in a critical condition.

One other suffered serious injuries and three others sustained moderate and minor ones.

Friends of the dead man have been posting tributes online, calling him "a good guy".

One person said: "This guy was always the best to have around if you were down or sad man hell just make you laugh with his stories.

"Thanks for just being a good guy overall man."

The Lions delivered a crushing 24-21 defeat over the All Blacks on Saturday night at Wellington's Westpac Stadium.

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