13 Apr 2016

Former Blues player dies of cancer

3:54 pm on 13 April 2016

Former Blues rugby player Kurtis Haiu has died of cancer, aged 31.

Kurtis Haiu in 2011

Kurtis Haiu in 2011 Photo: PhotoSport

Haiu began playing for the Blues in 2006, but took indefinite leave in 2011 after being diagnosed with bone cancer.

He represented New Zealand at under-19 and under-21 level and played 53 games for the Blues between 2006 and 2011 as well as 76 matches for Auckland.

The Auckland Marist Rugby Club today confirmed Haiu had passed away.

A post on the club's Facebook said: "It is with great sadness that we inform our Marist Family of the passing on of a Marist son, Kurtis Haiu. No doubt there will be more said about you Kurtis and your devotion to our beloved club but for now, we just bid you farewell. Our condolences go out to the Haiu family for the loss of this humble man."

The club said more details would be posted as they came to hand.

Haiu died in hospice care in Manurewa, according to the NZ Herald.

Auckland rugby chief executive Andy Dalton says Haiu will be remembered as a proud and committed Auckland player and only last weekend was on the sidelines at Sacred Heart College, watching the 1st XV in a pre-season match.

Tributes have already begun flowing for Haiu on social media.