Chiefs assistant in critical state

Date published: July 9 2015

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Samoa Technical Advisor and Chiefs assistant coach Andrew Strawbridge is in a critical condition after being taken ill.

Strawbridge fell ill during his flight to Samoa to join the team ahead of their historic All Blacks Test match, and is now at Moto’otua National Hospital, Samoa.

He was admitted to hospital overnight on Tuesday with an infection in his right eye and his condition deteriorated rapidly. He has now been joined by his wife Laura, and sister Susan.

The family is extremely grateful for the care Andrew is receiving from Dr David Galler and the staff at Moto’otua Hospital.

Chiefs CEO Andrew Flexman said: "We truly appreciate the incredible support that has been provided by the hospital staff, the people of the Samoan Rugby Union, the All Blacks and the Chiefs players who are on the ground over there."

Samoa Rugby Union acting Chief Executive Faleomavaega Vincent Fepuleai said: "We are all deeply shocked at how quickly this has evolved and we are very concerned for Straws’ health. We are now doing everything we can to support him, Laura and their families."

Laura Strawbridge said: "We are touched and overwhelmed by the kindness and alofa shown to us by friends and strangers and the wider rugby community. I would particularly like to thank the wonderful All Blacks supporter, here for the Test match, who responded to the call for a donation of Andrew’s blood type.

"The ICU team at Moto’otua Hospital, our Chiefs rugby family, our Manu Samoa aiga and New Zealand Rugby have shown us open-hearted support at this extremely difficult time.

"I am also grateful to those players and coaches from both the Manu Samoa and All Blacks teams who spent time with Andrew before I arrived, making sure he wasn’t without a friendly voice."

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