Macdonald thanks supporters

Southland rugby player Hoani Macdonald has sent a message of thanks to his friends and supporters as he recovers from the cardiac arrest he suffered during the first half of a national provincial championship game last month.

Macdonald was stretchered off during the first half of the championship semifinal against Counties Manukau in Pukekohe and was later put into an induced coma before undergoing heart surgery to implant a device that detects and corrects cardiac arrhythmia.

Yesterday, Macdonald, who has asked for privacy from the media since the incident, posted a message on his Facebook page: "Don't remember much of incident - which is probably good. But what I do know is all the awesome love and support from here and all around the world you sent me and my family. Thank you so much, words can't express how grateful we really are. Looking forward to being in touch over the festive season."

Macdonald's rugby career included the Stags, as well as the Highlanders and Melbourne Rebels in Super Rugby, the New Zealand Juniors and New Zealand Maori, and a stint with the Gwent-Newport Dragons in Wales.

The Southland Times