The Blues have paid an emotional tribute to slain police officer Matthew Hunt before tonight's match against the Highlanders at Eden Park.
The tribute to sports-mad Hunt, who attended the Blues' victorious Super Rugby Aotearoa opener over the Hurricanes just five days before he was gunned down on a West Auckland street, brought one top player to tears.
Caleb Clarke, son of former All Black and Blues centre Eroni Clarke, wiped his eyes as a minute's silence was held for Hunt. The Herald also understands Clarke's grandfather died today.
The winger made an early impact on the game, scoring the opening try six minutes in.
Tonight's tribute included a flyover by the Eagle helicopter, drawing praise from sports broadcaster Jim Kayes on Twitter.
"Police helicopter fly over at Eden Park. Lovely touch," Kayes tweeted.
The Blues have already publicly acknowledged the death of the 28-year-old Auckland constable, who died after he and another officer chanced upon a car that was flagged as being of interest. Hunt's colleague was wounded when they were fired upon soon after.
The day after Hunt's death the team tweeted their support to Hunt's family.
"The Blues Rugby family send our prayers and thoughts to the family of Constable Matthew Hunt – a Blues fan whose life was senselessly cut short. E kore ko koe anake."