The rugby league community and Newcastle Knights are mourning the death of youth player Elijah Faalua, who tragically died following a car accident on Thursday night.
The 17-year-old was a passenger in a vehicle being driven by another 17-year-old when their Subaru Forrester struck a barrier at Pelaw Main near Cessnock.
A statement from NSW police said Faalua suffered critical injuries and passed away at the scene 'after he was thrown from the front passenger seat'.
The 17-year-old driver of the vehicle was taken to John Hunter Hospital with minor injuries and underwent mandatory testing.
NSW police are investigating the incident.
"Officers from Hunter Valley Police District established a crime scene and have commenced an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the crash," NSW Police said in a statement.
"A report will be prepared for the information of the Coroner."
The tragic news was also confirmed by Newcastle Knights in a statement via the club's website on Friday.
Faalua played a number of positions for the Knights' Harold Matthews Cup team - including fullback, wing and centre.
"The Newcastle Knights extend our sincere condolences to the friends and family of Harold Matthews Cup player Elijah Faalua, who tragically passed away in a motor vehicle accident on Thursday," the Knights said in a statement.
"The club requests for all to respect the privacy of Elijah's friends and family at this time."