Luke Tipene is described by NZRL as a rising star in the sport.
Last night Tipene was killed during a brawl in Auckland where as many as 40 people were involved. Last year, he was a member of the NZ U17s team and some of his family are still in disbelief over his death.
Luke's uncle Sean Wilson told Te Kāea today that, "Luke had a lot of mana, a lot of respect. He spoke on the field, he spoke off the field, he's going to be missed by a lot of people, people looked up to Luke."
Police have launched a homicide investigation and were yet to officially release his name but next of kin have been informed with friends and whānau devastated at the news.
Close friend, Freedom Vaha'akolo said, "I'm just disappointed in the bad things happening to good people. First Jordan Kemp but now Luke Tipene. My heart goes out to everyone that's close to him, especially his family."
More updates can be found here.