Warriors rookie Sonny Fai feared drowned

Authorities in New Zealand have suspended the search for Warriors player Sonny Fai, feared drowned at west Auckland's Bethell's Beach yesterday.

The search has been called off for the day and will resume tommorrow.

The 20-year-old went missing after going on a training run at Bethell's yesterday. He is presumed drowned after trying to help save his younger brother who had gotten into difficulty swimming.

It's understood Fai was one of four men believed to have been caught by strong currents. Three men were rescued but the alarm was raised for Fai who was still missing. At around 8:00pm two inflatable boats and a rescue helicopter joined the search.

Family members and surf life savers kept searching until 1:00am.

The helicopter resumed this morning while Fai's Warriors team mates cancelled their pre-season training and also joined in the search.

A change in the tide forced another postponement today with rescuers agreeing to resume again tomorrow.

Fai was graded at the New Zealand Warriors as a 14-year-old in 2003.

The former Junior Kiwi also played for the New Zealand Residents in 2005-06. Highly regarded as a future star, Fai made the Kiwis train-on squad for last year's World Cup but missed out on final selection.

Fai's first grade debut was in 2008 and has a total of 15 games and five tries in the NRL, playing mainly in the centres but was touted as a future back-rower.

Several clubs showed interest in signing Fai before the Warriors signed him until the end of 2010.