'Devastating': Rugby rocked by All-Blacks' Sean Wainui's death

·Sports Reporter
·5-min read
New Zealand rugby player Sean Wainui is seen with his son after a Super Rugby match for the Chiefs.
New Zealand rugby player Sean Wainui was killed in a car accident on Monday morning. Picture: Instagram

The rugby world has been left stunned by word of the death of Maori All-Blacks player Sean Wainui, who died in a car accident in McLaren Falls on Monday morning.

The 25-year-old Wainui also represented the Chiefs in Super Rugby, as well as Bay of Plenty, where his speed on the wing made him a valuable contributor.

HUGE: Sonny Bill Williams' shock call on rugby league vs union debate

CRUCIAL: Weight of expectation rests on Wallabies after home success

According to a statement from Bay of Plenty police, one person died after a single-vehicle crash in McLaren Falls Park.

Wainui leaves behind wife Paide, two-year-old son Kawariki Te Raiona and his stepdaughter, Arahia.

The couple had only celebrated their one-year wedding anniversary in August.

The scene of the crash was attended by the Serious Crash Unit, with the driver of the vehicle confirmed to have died at the scene.

Wainui was confirmed as the driver by family members, with enquiries into the circumstances of the crash ongoing.

Two ambulances were called to the scene of the crash, which happened at roughly 7:50am.

The car is believed to have crashed into a tree in Omanawa, near the north island city of Tauranga.

International rugby great Sonny Bill Williams was one of many heartbroken fans to pay tribute to the 25-year-old on social media.

Williams said that although the pair had never been teammates, Wainui had an unforgettable on-field presence.

“My thoughts are with Sean Wainuis’ family,” he wrote.

“Especially his wife & young child. Although I didn’t play alongside him, I could always feel his mana coming up against him as his opposition.”

In addition to representing the Maori All-Blacks since 2015, Wainui played 44 games for the Chiefs and nine for the Crusaders, as well as Bay of Plenty, and Taranaki in the NZ domestic competition.

Further tributes to the 25-year-old flowed on social media.

Tributes flow for Maori All-Blacks star Sean Wainui

Rugby clubs across New Zealand were also quick to pay tribute to the skilled winger.

New Zealand Rugby posted a stirring tribute to the Maori All-Blacks star.

“One of Rugby New Zealand’s tallest totara trees has fallen in the world of rugby," the wrote. 

"To you Sean, our Rangatira, we farewell you to the outspread arms of the multitudes who await you beyond this earthly realm. 

"You leave us here bereft and drowning in sorrow as we weep for you. Rest well in peaceful repose”.

His former club, Taranaki, said he would always be remembered within their walls.

The rugby world is mourning New Zealand star Sean Wainui, who died in a car crash on Monday morning. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)
The rugby world is mourning New Zealand star Sean Wainui, who died in a car crash on Monday morning. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

"We are deeply saddened to hear news of the passing of Sean Wainui," the club wrote on Twitter.   

"Sean will forever be a cherished member of the Yarrows Taranaki Bulls. 

"Our hearts go out to Sean’s whānau, friends, and all those in the rugby community who knew him."

The Blues also paid tribute to Wainui, praising his skill on the field.

"Our deepest condolences to Sean’s wife & children, his whānau, his teammates and all those lucky enough to have known Sean Wainui," their post read. 

"We are honoured to have shared the field with you. A fierce and skilled warrior, we mourn your loss."

Wainui's speed propelled him to several memorable highlights, most notably his performance in the Trans-Tasman Super Rugby series earlier this year.

In a June victory over the Waratahs, he became the first player in Super Rugby history to score five tries in a match, during what was a dour outing for the Waratahs.

Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting