The Rugby League world is in mourning for news, the former New Zealand captain Quentin Pongia is dead at age 48, after a fight with cancer.
The robust forward that played for Raiders, Warriors, Roosters and St George Illawarra between 1993 and 2003 was reported as seriously ill in 2018.
Pongia was named Manly Sea Eagles wellness manager in 2017, but was unable to work when he fought for cancer.
The 48-year-old went through the surgery in November to remove a tumor from his gut and was hoping to make a recovery.
New Zealand Rugby League CEO Greg Peters confirmed Saturday that he was dead.
"He's had cancer at a time most people would know, and it's just finally, unfortunately, taken him," Peters said.
"He was an icon of the game, a big blocker and a fearless player. He had a great identity in the game during his game career and it's just really tragic to see cancer taking another big man too early."
News of the popular former star's death hit rugby league fans hard, with tribute flooding social media to the Kiwi legend.
RIP Quentin Pongia. Premiership wins as a prop in one of the best pages ever, a veteran of 35 Tests and a former Kiwi skipper #NRL
– Harry Ramage (@harryramage) May 18, 2019
– Greg Peters (@GPRUGBYCEO) May 18, 2019
Quentin Pongia set the platform for the magical 94 Canberra Raiders to dominate. Sad to learn from his passing … .RIP
– Ives (@real_MrIves) May 18, 2019
I just heard that Quentin Pongia has gone after a fight with cancer. Very sad news
– Toddy (@ toddygoody3913) May 18, 2019
No way! It is so much gutting to read. RIP Pongia.
– Nathan White (@rarewhitebear) May 18, 2019
Pongia played 137 games in the NRL, including the Raider's last prize ship in 1994.