Former Silver Fern Tania Dalton died surrounded by her friends and family, after her life support was turned off on Tuesday.
The mum-of-three, who played 12 tests for the Silver Ferns was admitted to hospital last Thursday after falling ill during a game of touch rugby.
Tania, 45, was playing at Takapuna Rugby Club when she suffered a brain aneurysm on the field, and was taken to hospital in a critical condition. She passed away at 10.20am on Wednesday in Auckland Hospital.
"It is with overwhelming sadness that I am here to share the news that our beloved T passed away today, with the family by her side," a spokesperson confirmed in a media conference.
"Tanz has put up the fight of her life - but ultimately it wasn't a fight she could win. And so Duane, Taylor, Charlie and Matt and her many, many friends and extended family have had to say goodbye. It is unbearably sad, but we are comforted by how big a life she lived in her short 45 years.
"She lived as we might all strive to; never on the sideline, always int he action, bringing her a-game as standard. With a big heart and an open smile, sucking the juice out of every day."
A memorial service for the beloved netballer will be held on March 6.
"Test results revealed that the internal aneurysm she experienced on Thursday night had resulted in massive blood loss and ultimately loss of oxygen to the brain for an extended period," the family told media after turning off Tania's life-support on Tuesday afternoon.
"The damage has now been accepted as irreversible and so the family had no choice but to allow nature to take its course."
Friends and family were quick to rally round the sports star, who was a popular commentator on Sky TV, when she fell ill.
Friends were sharing their best wishes on social media over the weekend, as they hoped the star would recover.
"Tania Dalton if anyone can fight through this you can! You have the most amazing family and friends to get you through this. Praying, and sending all our positive energy your way," wrote Niki Tippins on her Facebook page.
Another friend, Brandon Rowe, shared the memory of Tania being banned from running against other girls, and always beat the boys. "Kia Kaha Tania," he wrote.
Tania played for the Silver Ferns between 1996 and 2007, before becoming a commentator for Sky TV.
She also became a popular member of Southland netball teams Southern Sting and Southern Steel.
The keen sportswoman played a regular game of touch rugby in Auckland's Takapuna, her home town.
This story originally appeared on Women's Weekly