The 35-capped Kiwi also played 18 games for New Zealand Warriors in 1998 and 137 NRLs in total with stints at Canberra Raiders, Sydney Roosters and St George Dragons.

Pongia started the Grand Final in 1994 for the victorious Raiders who beat Canterbury Bulldogs 36-12 at Sydney Football Stadium.

Pongia completed his game career in 2004 with Wigan Warriors in the United Kingdom.

After retiring from professional rugby league, Pongia spent time with Raiders as a member of club coaching staff and recently worked for Manly as part of their coaching staff.

Raiders coach and former teammate Ricky Stuart said the club was deeply sad to hear about his passing and remembered him as not only a rugby league but also a wonderful man.

"From my personal relationship and on behalf of the current playgroup, I would like to forward my sincere compassion to the Quentin's family during this tough time," Stuart said.

"Like a number of players who played with him, I have nothing but respect and a wonderful friendship with Quentin, and although it makes me hear about the news, it comforts me to know that he has no pain now.

"Quentin is the hardest person I've ever played with, and I know how hard he struggled to beat this terrible disease. He'll be missed a lot over the entire rugby league."

Newshub.

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