'Gone far too soon' - Dylan Mika, former All Blacks flanker dies aged 45

Dylan Mika, former flanker for the All Blacks, has died. 

Mika was 45, and died after having a suspected heart attack. 

His family said in a statement: " It is with great sadness that the family of Dylan announce that he passed away suddenly and unexpectedly."

"He was a hugely talented athlete, well-respected in the Samoan community and abroad but just as importantly, to his friends and family a warm, wonderful, and caring man," it said.

The seven Test veteran died of a heart attack last night. Source: 1 NEWS

"Gone far too soon." 

Mika played for New Zealand in 1999, and for Samoa in 1994. 

New Zealand Rugby Chief Executive Steve Tew said the rugby community was stunned by the news and deeply saddened at his passing.

“Dylan is one of the rare talents, that represented both Samoa and New Zealand at a time when rugby had not long turned professional. He continued to have an active involvement in rugby both in Auckland and Samoa, and in particular, in his loyalty to the New Zealand Barbarians,"

"Our thoughts are with Dylan’s family and friends,” he said.

Mika was All Black number 982.

Dylan Mika in action for the All Blacks against the Wallabies