All Blacks lead emotional haka tribute to Sean Wainui

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Sun, 24 Oct 2021, 9:26AM
Sam Whitelock and Dane Coles carry jerseys as a tribute to Sean Wainui. (Photo / Photosport)
Sam Whitelock and Dane Coles carry jerseys as a tribute to Sean Wainui. (Photo / Photosport)

All Blacks lead emotional haka tribute to Sean Wainui

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Sun, 24 Oct 2021, 9:26AM

The All Blacks paused the start of their haka ahead of this morning's test against the USA in Washington DC to honour Sean Wainui who passed away earlier this week.

Wainui, a Māori All Blacks, Chiefs and Bay of Plenty star, was killed in a single-vehicle crash at McLaren Falls Park, near Tauranga, on Monday morning.

The haka stopped for 11 seconds before TJ Perenara began Ka Mate, to honour the 11 jersey worn by Wainui for the Maori All Blacks.

All Blacks captain Sam Whitelock leads the side in 11 seconds of silence as a tribute to Sean Wainui. Photo / Sky Sport

All Blacks captain Sam Whitelock leads the side in 11 seconds of silence as a tribute to Sean Wainui. Photo / Sky Sport

Before the haka, Sam Whitelock and Dan Coles were presented two jerseys by their American counterparts - a USA jersey with number 11 and a black shirt featuring the late Jerry Collins with the words 'legends never die'.

Collins, who played 48 tests for the All Blacks, died in a car crash in France in 2015.

Six60 lead singer Matiu Walters sung the New Zealand national anthem while wearing a number 11 Maori All Blacks jersey.

Wainui is due to be farewelled at a tangi at Te Wainui Marae in Gisborne today.

Sean Wainui passed away last week. Photo /  Getty Images

Sean Wainui passed away last week. Photo / Getty Images

The young father leaves behind his wife, Paige, and their children, Kawariki and Arahia.

A Givealittle page set up by the Chiefs Rugby Club to support the family in Wainui's absence climbed above $245,000 on Friday.

A written statement from the Wainui whānau thanked everyone for their "love and generosity".

"The beautiful tributes that have come from those who loved him all across the world means a lot to us all.

"We understand there are many hurting right now and wanting to hear from the whānau, but please respect that we have just lost our baby brother, a son, a husband and a father and our focus right now is healing and laying my brother to rest.

"Thank you all again for respecting the whānau's wishes."