Wellington - A prominent New Zealand rugby player, Hoani MacDonald, who has played in Australia and Wales, collapsed with a suspected heart attack in a New Zealand championship match on Saturday.
The 34-year-old middle-rower required vigorous CPR treatment for more than five minutes before he could be moved from the field and rushed to hospital.
Fairfax media quoted a stadium staff member as saying: "We got him back."
MacDonald, a former New Zealand Junior and New Zealand Maori representative, was playing for Southland against Counties-Manukau in a semi-final match when he collapsed midway through the first half.
A Southland team spokesperson said it was not known whether he collapsed during an incident on or off the ball, but spectators said MacDonald was treated for a suspected cardiac arrest after he fell clutching his chest.
Counties-Manakau won the game 48-23.
In 2008, MacDonald left New Zealand to play for Welsh side Newport Gwent Dragons before moving to Australia in 2011 to play Super Rugby for the Melbourne Rebels.