Rugby league: Former Kiwis forward Frank Pritchard in 'stable condition' after being hospitalised with COVID-19 complications

Former New Zealand and NRL forward Frank Pritchard is said to be in a stable condition, after COVID-19 complications left him on life support.

Pritchard, 38, was hospitalised in Sydney this week with breathing issues including a collapsed lung, and was placed in a coma on New Year's Eve.

But according to Canterbury Bulldogs general manager of football Phil Gould, Pritchard is now out of the coma and recovering.

"Just an update on Frank Pritchard from his Brother," Gould wrote on Twitter.

"He's out of the coma and in a ward. Lungs are still weak, but in stable condition. Will keep you updated. 

"Prayers are helping. Thanks everyone."

Pritchard played more than 200 games in the NRL across stints with Penrith Panthers and Canterbury Bulldogs.

He retired at the end of the 2017 season, after a stint playing in the UK Super League with Hull FC, before returning to the NRL with Parramatta Eels.

In the international game, Pritchard played 27 tests for the Kiwis from 2005 to 2013 before switching allegiance to Samoa, for whom he played eight times, and captained at the 2017 Rugby League World Cup.