Former All Black and Samoan international flanker dies suddenly

Former All Blacks flanker Dylan Mika has died from a suspected heart attack, reports the New Zealand Herald.

The 45-year-old played two tests for Samoa and, after serving a three-year stand-down period, seven for the All Blacks, including two against Italy and South Africa at the 1999 World Cup.

Mika, who had diabetes, was a popular figure who cared deeply for Auckland and Samoan rugby.

In a statement on Tuesday night, Mika’s family described him as a “warm, wonderful, and caring man”.

“It is with great sadness that the family of Dylan announce that he passed away suddenly and unexpectedly [on] Tuesday, March 20.

“Dylan was a very much loved husband and father to Tracy and their daughter Marley, and dearly loved son, brother, uncle, cousin and friend.

“He was a hugely talented athlete, well-respected in the Samoan community and abroad but just as importantly, to his friends and family a warm, wonderful, and caring man.

“Gone far too soon at the age of just 45.”

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