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26th Oct 2021

Death of Sean Wainui being treated as suspected suicide

Callum Boyle

Sean Wainui died in a car crash in October

The death of a New Zealand rugby union player who died in a car crash in October is currently being treated as a suspected suicide, according to a coroner’s report.

Sean Wainui, who was a representative of the All Blacks, was found at McLaren Falls Park in the Bay of Plenty on 18 October after reports of a single-vehicle crash, reported the Guardian.

The 25-year-old was the sole occupant of the car, and coroner Louella Dunn confirmed on Tuesday 26 October that the case is being treated as a suspected suicide.

Wainui’s wife, Paige took to social media to pay tribute to her late husband: “I’m in absolute pieces and in so much pain knowing my whole other half to me has left this earth … but I will forever celebrate you my love for being the most amazing and incredible husband and father you were and the special years we got to spend together on this earth.”

The Māori All Blacks star was labelled as one of the brightest talents in rugby union and made headlines earlier this year after becoming the first player in the domestic Super Rugby League to score five tries in a single match, when he did it for the Chiefs in a win against the Waratahs in Sydney.

Wainui had then moved on from the Hamilton-based side to join Bay of Plenty ahead of the start of the 2021 season and following the news of his death last week, New Zealand rugby released a statement in which they said it was a “dark day” for the sport.

Chief executive Mark Robinson said.: “Our thoughts are with Sean and his whānau [family], particularly Paige, Kawariki and Arahia, and we offer them our full support at what is the most difficult of times.

“We know Sean’s passing will be felt deeply by everyone involved in rugby, particularly his Bay of Plenty and Chiefs teammates, and we share their sorrow and their shock.”

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