Two Kiwi club players die

Two club rugby players in New Zealand have passed away within a week of each other in separate incidents.

On Thursday, 22-year-old prop Bevan Moody was confirmed dead, five days after he collapsed during a game in Nelson.

Moody was playing for Waitohi against hosts Nelson in a division one match on Saturday when he suffered a cardiac arrest in the second half. He was rushed to the Nelson Hospital, where he was placed in an induced coma.

Moody was a former New Zealand U20 triallist and tipped to gain selection for the Tasmanian provincial team later in the year.

Last week, 19-year-old Daniel Baldwin passed away after suffering a head injury in a club match in Porirua.

Baldwin, playing for Wellington RFC against Paremata Plimmerton, was left concussed after an on-field collision in the first half. He continued playing and was only taken off late in the second half after his teammates noticed he was struggling during a break in play.

He was taken to Wellington Hospital, where he underwent urgent brain surgery before he was placed in an induced coma. But the teenager succumbed to his injury four days later.

Both Moody and Baldwin's families are being supported by New Zealand Rugby and the Rugby Foundation, an organisation which focuses solely on assisting injured rugby players and their families.

'It's gutting to see young men die while playing the game they loved. It's wrong and hard to make sense when someone dies at such a young age. It's distressing and so terribly sad,' said NZR general manager Neil Sorenson.

Photo: Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images

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Mariette Adams