All Blacks lock Luke Romano and wife Hannah tell of stillborn baby heartbreak

All Black tough guy Luke Romano has revealed the pain he and wife Hannah suffered two years ago, when son Felix was stillborn.

The national rugby team mysteriously wore black armbands during their shock loss to Ireland at Chicago in 2016 and Romano returned home from that tour due to "family bereavement".

But the full story had never been told - until the Romanos appeared on TVNZ's Seven Sharp on Thursday, urging others to also speak out about their pain.

"Sometimes, all the grieving party wants is to talk about it, but they're too scared to broach it," said Luke Romano.

"I certainly never thought I'd need help around things like that. I always thought of myself as mentally strong."

Hannah was 37 weeks pregnant when a routine scan showed no heartbeat in her soon-to-be-born son.

Romano told Seven Sharp that their tragedy showed him the real strength of the All Blacks 'family', which supported the couple in their hour of need.

Captain Kieran Read rang his mate before the Chicago test to ask if they could wear armbands to show their support.

The Romanos also received valuable advice from All Blacks mental skills coach Glibert Enoka.

"A lot of the stuff he had that helped me and Hannah was stuff we do on the rugby field as well," Luke Romano told Seven Sharp.

"Get up in the morning, have a shower and have breakfast," recalled Hannah. "If he said it to us now, we'd laugh, but a year-and-a-half ago, that wasn't funny."

Hannah admitted crying and boxing were also crucial parts of her therapy. She works as a personal trainer.

"It's what we did to deal with grief." she said.

The Romanos have since produced another son, Cooper, but still treasure the memory of the one that didn't quite make it into the world.

"It's OK to talk about Cooper and about Felix - we have two sons," said Hannah. "He is our son," he's just not here."