Friends' 'spine-tingling' act after Kiwi rugby star's tragic death

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Friends of Sean Wainui performed a moving haka at the Kiwi rugby star's funeral. Pic: Twitter
Friends of Sean Wainui performed a moving haka at the Kiwi rugby star's funeral. Pic: Twitter

Friends of Sean Wainui have paid a stirring tribute to the fallen Kiwi rugby star, with a moving haka performance in front of grieving family members at his funeral.

New Zealand rugby has been rocked by Wainui's tragic death after the 25-year-old died in a car crash this week.

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Bay of Plenty police said Wainui's car left the road and hit a tree at around 7:50am on Monday.

He is survived by his wife Paige, two-year-old son Kawariki Te Raiona and stepdaughter Arahia.

Sean Wainui's wife has been left devastated after his death. Image: Instagram
Sean Wainui's wife has been left devastated after his death. Image: Instagram

Wainui's family was seen embracing one another at his funeral while a group of friends performed a powerful haka in front of them.

The New Zealand Herald labelled the scenes “spine-tingling” as mourners bid farewell to the young star.

Earlier in the week, Wainui's wife Paige shared a heartbreaking photo of herself holding her late husband's hand.

“I’m broken,” she wrote. 

“I’m right here, baby. Always and forever.”

Rugby rocked by Sean Wainui's death

Sean and Paige were married in September last year and have son Kawariki and daughter Arahia together.

New Zealand Rugby chief executive Mark Robinson confirmed Wainui's death on Monday afternoon, saying everyone in the sport shared his "sorrow and their shock".

"We offer them our full support at what is the most difficult of times," Robinson said of Wainui's family.

Kiwi-born Wallabies veteran Quade Cooper was among many to share their grief and pay tribute.

"My heart goes out to Sean Wainui's whanau (family)," he wrote on Twitter.

"Lost for words as it was only a few months ago I was talking to him in the gym in Tauranga. 

"We have lost an incredible human," he wrote, adding a broken heart emoji.

Wainui was a well-liked figure in New Zealand who achieved representative honours, playing for the Maori All Blacks.

He set a Super Rugby record in June when he became the first player to score five tries in a single match, a 40-7 romp over the Waratahs at Brookvale Oval in Manly.

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