Taniela Moa, a scrumhalf who almost was a New Zealand All Black but went on to play 21 times for Tonga, has died. He was 36. Moa’s death was confirmed Thursday by the Tonga Rugby Union, which did not specify a cause.
Moa, who was born in Tonga, played 58 games for the province from 2005 and helped the team win two NPC titles. He also made 27 appearances for the Blues between 2007 and 2010. It’s understood he died suddenly following a medical event on Thursday morning.
The Tonga Rugby Union said in a statement that Moa was one of the all-time greats. It did not mention the cause of death.
Former Blues and Tonga halfback Taniela Moa dies aged 36
“A stalwart of Ikale Tahi Tonga rugby who will now have his name etched among the echelons of the legendary greats. Such sad news to receive about the passing of Taniela Moa,” it said.
Moa earned 21 caps for Tonga, and played for the team at the 2011 World Cup in New Zealand. This included starting against the All Blacks in the first game of the tournament at Eden Park in Auckland. He also represented the Chiefs for one season, and played for Bay of Plenty.
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