Highlights on Off The Ball

10:00 AM-01:00 PM

Highlights on Off The Ball


WATCH: New Zealand perform emotional Haka in honour of Sean Wainui

New Zealand performed an emotional Haka ahead of their clash with America on Saturday, in honour of Sean Wainui.

New Zealand performed an emotional Haka ahead of their clash with America on Saturday, in honour of Sean Wainui, who passed away in a car accident earlier in the week.

Māori All Blacks and Chiefs centre Wainui passed away after a car crash in the early hours of Monday, October 18th, at the age of 25.

The young centre and occasional winger had amassed 10 appearances for the Māori All Blacks, scoring 40 points, while also representing New Zealand at U20 level.

He also made headlines earlier this year when he became the first Super Rugby player to score five tries in a single match, in the Chiefs’ one-sided win over the Waratahs in Sydney.

Many of the All Blacks players in the 23 were teammates of Wainui either at club level or during his time with the Mãori All Blacks and U20's sides, making their performance of the traditional Ka Mate Haka even more emotional for New Zealand.

Prior to the performance of the Haka, the USA laid down a jersey with the number 11 on it, in honour of the late, rising star.

Haka Wainui

This was the latest in a long line of emotional tributes to Wainui, which started on Monday when New Zealand Rugby released their statement following the incident.

“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,” NZR chief executive Mark Robinson said in the statement.

“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.”

New Zealand Māori Rugby Board chair Farah Palmer said the game of rugby was in mourning.

“As a player we all saw what this young tāne was capable of and the passion and talent that he brought to the teams he represented, but we also saw a role model for young Māori, a caring father who was passionate about his culture, his language, and his identity,” Palmer said. “He will be sorely missed.”

Māori All Blacks, Chiefs and former Bay of Plenty head coach Clayton McMillan added that Wainui was an influential member of the teams he played in.

“Sean was an incredibly talented individual and held a great amount of mana among his fellow teammates and the wider rugby community,” McMillan said.

“He epitomised everything you could possibly ask for in a player. He will be remembered for being a passionate, hard-working, proud Māori who was an exceptional player but more importantly father and husband.”

Team of Us. Everyone In.

Vodafone. The main sponsor of the Irish Rugby Team

Download the brand new OffTheBall App in the Play Store & App Store right now! We've got you covered!

Subscribe to OffTheBall's YouTube channel for more videos, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for the latest sporting news and content.

Read more about

America Bay Of Plenty Car Crash Chiefs Maori All Blacks New Zealand Sean Wainui Taranaki USA United States