Ex-New Zealand and Chiefs loose forward Sione Lauaki, aged 35, passed away due to kidney failure on Sunday.
Lauaki was diagnosed with kidney and heart problems in 2012 while he was playing for Bayonne in France. But although the cause of his death has not been revealed, it is believed he suffered kidney failure.
The Tonga-born player represented Auckland and Waikato in New Zealand’s National Provincial Championship before making his Super Rugby debut for the Chiefs in 2004. He made his Test debut for the All Blacks the following year and was part of their 2007 World Cup squad before his 17-Test career came to an end in 2008.
The New Zealand Rugby Union expressed its condolences to Lauaki’s family and friends: ‘The thoughts of everyone are with the family of Sione Lauaki… Gone too soon.’
Photo: Michael Thomas/AP
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