NZ Rugby Mourns the Passing of Maori All Black and Chiefs Star Sean Wainui in Tragic Car Accident

0
750
Image: New Zealand Rugby.

Wainui played 10 games for the Maori All Blacks and made 44 Super Rugby appearances for the Chiefs after a spell with the Crusaders.

“We know Sean’s passing will be felt deeply by everyone involved in rugby, particularly his Bay of Plenty and Chiefs team mates and we share their sorrow and their shock,” NZR CEO Mark Robinson said.

Robinson asked the media to give the Wainui family “space to grieve as we all reflect on a young life that has ended far too early”.

New Zealand media have reported the single-vehicle accident took place in Omanawa, near Tauranga and the 25 year old Wainui was the sole occupant of the car.

New Zealand Police stated they were alerted to the single-vehicle crash around 7.50am at McLaren Falls Park, near Tauranga. “The sole occupant of the vehicle died at the scene,” a police statement said.

Wainui joined the Chiefs in 2018 where he was a hugely popular figure with the fans.

He broke the record for number of tries in a Super Rugby game with five against the Waratahs earlier this year before joining provincial side Bay of Plenty.

Sean Wainui with his young family. Image: Instagram.

“He was an influential member in the teams he has been a part of and his presence will be missed,” Maori All Blacks, Chiefs and former Bay of Plenty head coach Clayton McMillan said.

“He epitomised everything you could possibly ask for in a player. He will be remembered for being a passionate, hard-working, proud Maori who was an exceptional player but more importantly father and husband.”

Wainui died at about 7:50 am on 18 October 2021, when the car he was driving crashed into a tree near Tauranga.

Wainui was born in the small settlement of Whatatutu near Gisborne and raised in Auckland before attending Takapuna Grammar School where he was a stand-out as captain of the first XV before making his debut for Taranaki in 2014, while still a teenager. A year later he won the Junior World Championship with the New Zealand Under 20 team, earned his first Super Rugby contract with the Crusaders, and represented the Māori All Blacks for the first time.

Wainui was playing with Bay of Plenty in New Zealand’s national provincial competition this season.

A video posted by the young father teaching his now 2-year-old son the haka when he was just 8 months old, has gone viral on social media.

Wainui is survived by his wife Paige and their children Arahia and Kawariki.

Paige has shared a heartbreaking photo and message on her Instagram page with a striking black and white photo of her holding on to her late husband’s arm.

“I’m broken. I’m right here, baby. Always and forever,” Paige Wainui wrote on her Instagram story.

Wainui’s Chiefs team-mates Brad Weber and Anton Lienert-Brown posted emotional messages from the United States where they are touring with the All Blacks.

 

Sean Wainui’s ‘broken’ wife’s heartfelt message

The loss of Sean Wainui has hit the rugby community hard.
HANNAH PETERS/GETTY IMAGES
The loss of Sean Wainui has hit the rugby community hard.

Sean Wainui’s wife Paige has shared a heartbreaking photo and message hours after her husband’s death in a car accident.

The 25-year-old Bay of Plenty, Chiefs and Māori All Blacks winger died on Monday.

Police were alerted to the single-vehicle crash around 7.50am at McLaren Falls Park, near Tauranga. The sole occupant of the vehicle died at the scene, a police statement said.

1 NEWS
Wainui, 25, represented the Chiefs, Bay of Plenty and the Māori All Blacks.

“I’m broken. I’m right here, baby. Always and forever,” Paige Wainui wrote on her Instagram story.

READ MORE:
New Zealand Māori representation meant the world to late rugby star Sean Wainui
Super Rugby Pacific: Crusaders sign Taranaki star Kini Naholo
Bay of Plenty, Chiefs and Māori All Blacks winger Sean Wainui dies in car crash

The words were shared with a striking black and white photo of her holding on to her late husband’s arm.

Paige and Sean were married last year and had two young children, son Kawariki and daughter Arahia.

Her words came as tributes flowed for one of the bright stars of New Zealand’s national game.

Wainui’s Chiefs team-mates Brad Weber and Anton Lienert-Brown posted emotional messages from the United States where they are touring with the All Blacks.

“Can’t quite put into words how much this one hurts. Always said publicly that Sean deserves everything he gets because he works so hard for it. But he doesn’t deserve this. That first day back at Chiefs HQ next season is gonna hurt walking in and not seeing you there brother. RIP,” Weber posted on Twitter.

Lienert-Brown wrote on Instagram: “A warrior on the field and one of the great humans off it. My heart hurts. You’ll be missed massively but never forgotten my brother.”

 

The All Blacks wrote on Twitter: “We are heartbroken right now. Sean, you were an inspiration and will never be forgotten. We extend all of our strength and aroha to your friends and whānau. Kia au tō moe.”