New Zealand rugby is in mourning.
Sean Wainui, 25, died on Sunday in a car accident.
The player's vehicle hit a tree, police said.
New Zealand Rugby Union General Manager Mark Robinson lamented the death of the Waikato Chiefs center, citing "a dark day for rugby".
The death of Sean will deeply touch everyone involved in rugby, especially his teammates at Bay of Plenty (his New Zealand league team he joined last May) and the Chiefs, we share their grief and their shock, ”
he said in a statement. Former All Black Sonny Bill Williams also paid tribute on social media to Wainui. “
Although I didn't play alongside him, I could still feel his mana (his stature) by bumping into him as an opponent,
” he tweeted.
Wainui, who notably represented the New Zealand under-20 selection and that of the Maori All Blacks, began his Super Rugby career with the Canterbury Crusaders in 2016. He joined the Chiefs in 2018. Last June, he scored five tries against the Australian franchise NSW Waratahs in a 40-7 victory in Sydney, setting a record for the most tries scored by a player in a single Super Rugby match.