AUCKLAND - Former Melbourne Rebels player Hoani MacDonald has collapsed during an NPC Championship division match after suffering a suspected heart attack yesterday.
The Southland second-rower went down midway through the first-half of his side's semi-final clash against Counties Manukau in Pukekohe near Auckland.
Vigorous CPR was performed on MacDonald for five minutes and the 34-year-old was then put in the back of an ambulance and taken to Middlemore Hospital in a serious condition.
He played 23 Super Rugby matches for the Highlanders between 2004 and 2008 and after spending time with Welsh side Newport-Gwent, signed a two-year deal with the Rebels for the 2011 season.
The forward's 2011 season was blighted by a serious hand injury in Melbourne's opening game and he returned home to New Zealand early in 2012.