Chiefs coach Strawbridge in critical condition

Chiefs Assistant Coach Andrew Strawbridge is in a critical condition on Moto’otua National Hospital, Samoa after becoming ill on the flight to Samoa.

Strawbridge is one of the Chiefs assistant coaches but also doubles as the Manu Samoa Technical Advisor and made the trip to Samoa for the All Blacks test earlier this week.

Strawbridge was admitted to hospital overnight on Tuesday with an infection in his right eye and his condition deteriorated rapidly.

He has now been joined by his wife Laura, and sister Susan. The family is extremely grateful for the care Andrew is receiving from Dr David Galler and the staff at Moto’otua Hospital.

Chiefs CEO Andrew Flexman said, “We truly appreciate the incredible support that has been provided by the hospital staff, the people of the Samoan Rugby Union, the All Blacks and the Chiefs players who are on the ground over there.”

Samoa Rugby Union acting Chief Executive Faleomavaega Vincent Fepuleai said: “We are all deeply shocked at how quickly this has evolved and we are very concerned for Straws’ health. We are now doing everything we can to support him, Laura and their families.”

Laura Strawbridge said: “We are touched and overwhelmed by the kindness and alofa shown to us by friends and strangers and the wider rugby community. I would particularly like to thank the wonderful All Blacks supporter, here for the Test match, who responded to the call for a donation of Andrew’s blood type.

“The ICU team at Moto’otua Hospital, our Chiefs rugby family, our Manu Samoa aiga and New Zealand Rugby have shown us open-hearted support at this extremely difficult time.”

“I am also grateful to those players and coaches from both the Manu Samoa and All Blacks teams who spent time with Andrew before I arrived, making sure he wasn’t without a friendly voice.”

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