A Heartland Rugby Championship player suffered a broken leg just minutes into a game in Waikato on Saturday.
Thames Valley and Buller kicked off their game about 1.30pm in Paeroa, but not long in Thames player Hayden Anderson suffered serious injury.
Thames Valley Rugby Union president Kelly Plummer said Anderson had gone in for a charge, and broken his leg.
The game paused for more than an hour while St John Ambulance was called and players retreated to clubrooms.
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Plummer said the game resumed at 3pm, and didn't have time to talk about the injury.
An ambulance had taken Anderson to hospital, he said.
Rugby writer and eyewitness Scott Hornell said on Twitter that the injury, combined with showers in Waikato on Saturday afternoon, was "bloody bad luck".
Anderson has been playing for Thames since 2015, after previously playing for Perth Spirit and Australia Under 20s.
The Heartland Championship, a domestic rugby union competition, kicked off in 2006 and pits provincial teams against one another.