'Didn't feel appropriate': NPC match postponed in wake of Sean Wainui's death

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Fri, 22 Oct 2021, 7:12PM
Sean Wainui in action for Bay of Plenty. (Photo / Photosport)
Sean Wainui in action for Bay of Plenty. (Photo / Photosport)

'Didn't feel appropriate': NPC match postponed in wake of Sean Wainui's death

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Fri, 22 Oct 2021, 7:12PM

The NPC match between Bay of Plenty and Northland, scheduled to be played at Tauranga Domain at 2.05pm this Sunday, will be postponed in the wake of Sean Wainui's death.

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

Wainui is survived by his wife Paige and their children Kawariki and Arahia. A tangi for Wainui will be held in Gisborne on Sunday.

New Zealand Rugby said that after consulting with their playing groups, both unions agreed it did not feel appropriate to play on the day of Wainui's tangi.

NZ Rugby is working with the Bay of Plenty and Northland unions to reschedule the match, with details to be announced in due course.

As a sign of respect to Wainui and his whānau, NZR have also asked the rugby community to come together to acknowledge his life prior to all NPC and Heartland Championship matches this weekend.

Players, coaches, managers and match officials will be wearing black armbands and Wainui will also be acknowledged via a special tribute and moment's silence prior to each match this weekend.

Wainui's whānau also thanked the rugby community and the New Zealand public for their "love and generosity" as the family continues to mourn his death.

In a statement to the media, a family spokesperson said: "We just want to thank 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."