The world of rugby is in mourning. This Monday, October 18, Sean Wainui, a real nugget of the New Zealand championship, died in a car accident. The 25-year-old Maori All-Blacks international held the record for tries in a Super Rugby game, a league made up of the top ten Australian and New Zealand franchises. Police said his vehicle hit a tree at high speed. Sean Wainui was alone on board.
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 at tō moe. pic.twitter.com/R0o9fqgW6R
– All Blacks (@AllBlacks) October 18, 2021
New Zealand Rugby Union General Manager Mark Robinson lamented the death of the Waikato Chiefs player, citing “a dark day for rugby”. Adding: “Sean’s passing will deeply affect everyone involved in rugby, especially his Bay of Plenty and Chiefs teammates, we share their grief and shock,” in a statement.
Sonny Bill Williams’ tribute
Former All Black Sonny Bill Williams also paid tribute to young Wainui on social media. “Although I didn’t play alongside him, I could still feel his stature as I bumped into him as an opponent,” he tweeted.
Sean Wainui, who notably represented New Zealand’s Under-20 team and Maori All Blacks, began his Super Rugby career with the Canterbury Crusaders in 2016. He was married and father of two.
Sean Wainui dies at 25 © Instagram Sean Wainui