'I'm broken': Wife's devastating act after death of All Blacks star

·Sports Editor
·3-min read
Sean Wainui, pictured here with his wife and son.
Sean Wainui's wife has been left devastated after his death. Image: Instagram

Sean Wainui's wife has paid a devastating tribute to her late husband after the Kiwi rugby star died in a car accident on Monday morning.

New Zealand rugby is in mourning following the tragic death of the record-breaking Chiefs back at the age of 25.

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Bay of Plenty police said Wainui's car left the road and hit a tree at around 7:50am on Monday.

Later on Monday, Wainui's wife Paige shared a heartbreaking photo of herself holding her late husband's hand.

“I’m broken,” she wrote. 

“I’m right here, baby. Always and forever.”

Sean and Paige were married in September last year and have son Kawariki and daughter Arahia together.

New Zealand Rugby chief executive Mark Robinson confirmed Wainui's death on Monday afternoon, saying everyone in the sport shared his "sorrow and their shock".

"We offer them our full support at what is the most difficult of times," Robinson said of Wainui's family.

Kiwi-born Wallabies veteran Quade Cooper was among many to share their grief and pay tribute.

"My heart goes out to Sean Wainui's whanau (family)," he wrote on Twitter.

"Lost for words as it was only a few months ago I was talking to him in the gym in Tauranga. 

"We have lost an incredible human," he wrote, adding a broken heart emoji.

Rugby world in shock over Sean Wainui's death

Wainui was a well-liked figure in New Zealand who achieved representative honours, playing for the Maori All Blacks.

He set a Super Rugby record in June when he became the first player to score five tries in a single match, a 40-7 romp over the Waratahs at Brookvale Oval in Manly.

Sonny Bill Williams said: "He could always feel his mana coming up against him as his opposition".

Chiefs head coach Clayton McMillan said Wainui was popular amongst teammates and rivals.

"He epitomised everything you could possibly ask for in a player," McMillan said.

Sean Wainui, pictured here in action in the Mitre 10 Cup in 2017.
Sean Wainui in action in the Mitre 10 Cup in 2017. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

"He will be remembered for being a passionate, hard-working, proud Maori who was an exceptional player but more importantly father and husband."

Farah Palmer, NZ Maori Rugby board chair, said Wainui brought passion and talent to his career.

"We also saw a role model for young Maori, a caring father who was passionate about his culture, his language, and his identity. He will be sorely missed," she said.

Former Rugby Australia chief executive Raelene Castle said she was "so sad to hear of the passing of Sean Wainui. 

"All of my aroha (love) to his whanau and the Chiefs rugby whanau."

with AAP

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