Air ambulance lands in Samoa to bring critically ill Chiefs assistant coach home

An air ambulance has landed in Samoa as efforts are being made to fly Chiefs assistant coach Andrew Strawbridge home, after he fell ill on his way to the island.

A spokeswoman said his critical condition continued to stabilise overnight, but Manu Samoa's technical adviser remains under sedation.

Medical staff are continuing to focus on further stabilising his condition so that he can be transferred by air ambulance to New Zealand, the spokeswoman said.

An air ambulance landed in Samoa about 8am this morning with an intensive care nurse on board.

It is understood the air ambulance will fly Strawbridge to Hamilton before transferring him to Waikato Hospital once he is stabilised.

Strawbridge was awake and aware of those around him, but couldn't speak. He was being treated with antibiotics.

Strawbridge took ill during his flight to join the Samoan team, ahead of Wednesday's historic Test with the All Blacks.

He was admitted to hospital overnight on Tuesday with an infection in his right eye and his condition deteriorated rapidly, the Chiefs said yesterday.

Former All Black wing Zac Guildford said he was shocked by the news.

"Best wishes to a old coach of mine Andrew Strawbridge and his family get better soon my mate," he said on Twitter.

Rugby fans have also been quick to express their sadness.... PACNEWS