New Zealand rugby star Sean Wainui dies in car crash, aged 25
'Kia au tō moe'
Maori All Blacks and New Zealand Super Rugby star Sean Wainui has died in a car crash, aged just 25.
The accident happened on Monday morning in Omanawa, near the city of Tauranga, in the early hours of the morning. Wainui was confirmed as the only person to have been in the car that crashed into a tree.
He made 44 appearances for the Chiefs this year and even went on to debut for the Bay of Plenty, also picking up 10 international caps with the Maori All Blacks. Earlier this year, he scored five tries in a Super Rugby games against the Waratahs.
As yet it is unclear what caused the crash. The Bay's former 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.”
The All Blacks' Twitter account also paid tribute to Wainui. Posted alongside a photo of the young star performing the Haka, they wrote:
'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.'
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. pic.twitter.com/R0o9fqgW6R
— All Blacks (@AllBlacks) October 18, 2021
"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," said New Zealand Rugby chief executive Mark Robinson.
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