Former Blues and Auckland second-rower Kurtis Haiu has passed away after being diagnosed with a rare form of cancer.
The 31-year-old lock was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer which forced him into an early retirement in 2011.
Haiu played 53 times for the Blues between 2006 and 2011 and 76 times for Auckland between 2005 and 2010 before illness ended his career.
“The Blues family are deeply saddened by this news. Several of our players were close to Kurt and have spent time with him over the past weeks and months,” said Blues CEO Michael Redman.
“It is clearly a tragedy for someone so young, and our thoughts are with Kurtis’ family.”
Mr Redman said the Blues team will discuss an official response to the news when they return to training on Thursday.