Geoff Moon, a recent assistant Auckland rugby coach, has died.

The 53-year-old Moon had been in Italy briefly on a coaching assignment, where he died after being hospitalized. HIs passing was reported by the Viadana club.

Auckland Rugby says it is deeply saddened to hear of Moon's passing.

Moon was strongly associated with the career of Auckland and All Black legend Keven Mealamu, as coach at Aorere College.

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REST IN PEACE & LOVE GEOFF MOON ๐Ÿ•Šโค๏ธ Auckland Rugby is deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Geoff Moon. Our...

Posted by Auckland Rugby on Tuesday, 8 January 2019

He went on to head the Mt Albert Grammar academy and coach the champion first XV, and was assistant to Auckland head coach Nick White in 2016 and 2017.

His other roles included coaching the Blues development side and colts, at De La Salle College, and was Bristol's forwards coach in England.

One of his most recent assignments with Mt Albert Grammar was leading a development team on a tour of the Cook Islands late last year.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and loved ones at this time," Auckland rugby stated.