Aupito William Sio pays tribute to 'gentle giant' Dylan Mika

The sudden death of former All Black and Manu Samoa rugby player, Tiumalu Dylan Mika, has stunned the Pacific and rugby communities around the world.

The flanker died, aged 45, at his Auckland home on Tuesday of a suspected heart attack.

The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio, described Tiumalu as a gentle giant off the field, but a man with a lot of physical strength and passion on the field.

Minister Aupito said he was shocked and saddened to hear the news as he personally knew the Mika family.

"Just want to convey condolences on behalf of all of our communities to the bereaved family particularly his wife Tracy and also his father and I mention that because it was only less than two years ago that they lost their mother. Combine all those things, they will be going through a really sad time."