Super Rugby players will acknowledge the sudden death of Blues and North Harbour player Mike Tamoaieta in games around the world tonight.

Teams are expected to wear black arm bands and pay tribute to their fellow player with an acknowledgement of his life, as news of the 23-year-old's tragic death makes shockwaves around the globe.

It comes as police confirm they have referred Tamoaieta's death to the Coroner.

The former Sacred Heart College student's death was announced this morning on social media by partner Helen Ti'eti'e, the mother of Tamoaieta's young daughter Aihana.


"To our dearest family and friends, it is with great sadness to announce the passing of our beloved Mike Tamoaieta," Ti'eti'e wrote.

"Our wonderful, beautiful friend, brother, amazing uncle and father to Aihana."

The family have asked for privacy.

New Zealand Rugby said Kiwi teams, the Chiefs, the Crusaders and the Blues, along with referees, will wear black arm bands at their respective games in Hamilton and Brisbane tonight and Argentina in the morning.

The Blues' next home game is at North Harbour Stadium, Tamoaieta's home ground, next Saturday, which is expected to be a special occasion to remember him.

Among the international tributes flowing on social media, the Metro Lions American Football Club said: "Our heartfelt condolences to Mikey's family during his sudden and tragic passing yesterday".

"We are deeply saddened and shocked by this terrible news. Mikey made an impact for our Metro Juniors as a powerful runner and blocker, with club members knowing him off the field through his infectious smile and personality."

Our heartfelt condolences to Mikey’s family during his sudden and tragic passing yesterday. We are deeply saddened and...

Posted by Metro Lions American Football Club on Friday, 1 March 2019

Musician Junior Soqeta wrote: "I'm so shocked right now my brother. All I can say is thank you. Thank you for being a true brother who would spread nothing but joy, love and light to those around you."


On Twitter, Papatoetoe Rugby club said it was shocked to hear the news of the passing of the former Grammar Tec Rugby Club player.

Other condolences came from Australia, Pacific Rugby, Japan, and all across New Zealand.

Earlier Blues chief executive Michael Redman said the Blues were stunned by the news and deeply saddened at his death.

"Michael was a talented athlete and our focus is to offer our support and sympathy for the family, and we are supporting our team and staff, some of whom are currently overseas."

North Harbour Rugby general manager David Gibson said: "Our deepest sympathy goes to Michael's partner Helen, his daughter Aihana and his family at this difficult time. He will be dearly missed."