'I'm in absolute pieces': Wife's heartbreaking tribute to rugby star Sean Wainui

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Tue, 26 Oct 2021, 8:19AM

'I'm in absolute pieces': Wife's heartbreaking tribute to rugby star Sean Wainui

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Tue, 26 Oct 2021, 8:19AM

The widow of Māori All Blacks and Chiefs Super Rugby star Sean Wainui has shared a heartfelt tribute on social media - receiving a tā moko in honour of her late husband. 

Paige Wainui shared a video and photo on Instagram, her second post since the passing of Sean, who died in a car crash last week. 

"I don't have the words right now or could begin to describe the feeling of losing you baby all I know is I don't wish this on anyone. 

"I'm in absolute pieces and in so much pain knowing my whole other half to me has left this earth," she wrote in the caption. 

"But I will forever celebrate you my love for being the most amazing and incredible husband & father you were and the special years we got to spend together on this earth. 

Wainui, 25, was farewelled on Sunday at Te Wainui Marae in Gisborne. 

He was killed in a car crash at McLaren Falls Park, near Tauranga in the Bay of Plenty last Monday morning. 

The heartfelt message was accompanied with a video of Paige getting a tā moko - similar to that of Sean - on her ring finger by an artist who also tattooed Wainui. 

The young father leaves behind wife Paige and children Kawari. (Photos / Photosport, Instagram) 

"It was truly a special moment as he did Sean's mokowhiti to resemble our marriage and our tamariki." 

Paige also thanked people for the "overwhelming support, generosity and aroha" they have shown her over the past week. 

"The awhi has been out of this world. I am incredibly appreciative of you all thank you so much." 

Wainui also leaves behind children Kawariki and Arahia. 

He played 53 games for Taranaki before shifting to Bay of Plenty this year. He also played 44 games for the Chiefs, nine for the Crusaders and represented New Zealand Māori since 2015. 

In June he scored five tries in a Super Rugby Transtasman victory over the Waratahs, the first player to ever do so in Super Rugby history. 

Eulogies were given by a number of people at his tangi, including Wainui's siblings, father and the Taranaki coach. 

"He was a star, he led the back three they called it 'bomb squad' so he could defuse those bombs. I was so proud of him, he took very ball and we're able to carry on and win the case because he inspired, he inspired us with his attributes on the field," a teary Colin Cooper said. 

Wainui was spotted by coach Cooper and signed with Taranaki at just 18 years old in 2014. 

Wainui's siblings Whitney and Luke Wainui also spoke. 

"The four of us were extremely close and we held each other like the walls of a whare. You will be surely missed but always remain close to our hearts," Luke said. 

Wainui's father Paul said his heart is starting to heal. 

"I don't wish any parent to bury their own child especially this age, engari (but) God gives and God takes," he said. 

A Givealittle page set up by the Chiefs to support the family has climbed above $269,000.