All Blacks captain Kieran Read shared a message of support to the victims who lost their lives in the mass shootings on Friday in Christchurch.
Posting a picture to Instagram wearing a red shirt which read "Chch my heart is here," Read said his heart went out to everyone affected by the horrific terror attack.
"To say I have had a tough 24 hours of reflection here in Christchurch is an understatement. That this hate filled atrocity has happened in our back yard is beyond words," wrote Read. "My heart goes out to the victims and their families, our Muslim community and the people of Christchurch."
"Our nation is experiencing a great loss of innocence in the face of all that happened yesterday. Bigotry and intolerance has no place here in Aotearoa. This is not who we are. Our strength lies in our diversity and while acts such as this are orchestrated in an attempt to divide us, love and unity will always prevail."
Read was in lockdown at a school hall after the shootings, posting a picture to Instagram on Friday afternoon of an empty school hall saying he was waiting for his children.
"Sending my thoughts to all victims today," the Instagram story read. "Locked in the school hall waiting for the girls."
Read has three children, two of whom – girls Elle and Eden – attend primary school.
The Herald understands the school in Papanui was on such high alert the children were allowed only a little water as they weren't allowed access to toilets.
The death toll has since risen to 50, with 36 victims still in Christchurch hospital.
Australian-born Dunedin resident Brenton Harrison Tarrant appeared in court yesterday charged with murder.