Tory Brunning, 22, from Berkeley in Wollongong, played reserve grade yesterday before leaving the field at half-time complaining of flu-like symptoms.
After full-time in first grade he collapsed and could not be revived.
Manager of Illawarra District Rugby League, Chris Bannerman, said support was being offered to players.
“Most immediately it’s identifying where there is a need for counselling,” he said.
“That’s the most urgent priority, particularly with the people most closely associated with the incident.”
“I know pretty much the whole rugby league fraternity is expressing their condolences and their sympathies; Tory was a really well-liked young man and very popular with his peers locally.”
He had played half a game in reserve grade and was preparing to sit on the bench for the first grade match when he started feeling ill.
He did not participate in the first grade match.
“We really can’t say too much more about the circumstances than that at the moment,” Mr Bannerman said.
Brunning played against the Wests Devils in the reserve grade fixture at Dapto Showground on Saturday and was due on the pitch again at 3:00pm. He was found face-down on the ground at 4:45pm.
An autopsy will be carried out and a brief prepared for the coroner.