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Wainui was the All Blacks' Under 20 representative and played with Bay of Plenty in this year's All Blacks tournament
Sean Wainui, a New Zealand rugby player, was killed in a crash.
According to police, the victim, who was a former international under-20, was killed when his car struck a tree in Tauranga.
Wainui was a Maori All Blacks player 10 times and a Super Rugby star for 44 Waikato Chiefs matches.
He scored five tries against NSW Waratahs in June, setting the record for most Super Rugby matches with more than one player.
He also played for Bay of Plenty in the 2021 provincial rugby season.
Mark Robinson, chief executive of New Zealand Rugby, said that the death of the father-of-2 was "a dark day" for rugby.
He said that "Sean's death will be deeply felt by all involved in rugby, especially his Bay of Plenty team-mates and Chiefs teammates."
"We share their grief and shock."
On social media, former All Black Sonny Bill Williams made a tribute to his late father.
He tweeted, "Although he didn't play with me, I could feel his mana [stature] coming against him as his opposition."
Clayton McMillan, former Bay of Plenty coach and Maori All Blacks Chiefs head coach, praised Wainui for his achievements.
He said, "He was an important member of the teams he had been a part and his presence will not be missed."
He was the epitome of everything you could want in a player. He will be remembered as a proud, hard-working, passionate Maori player, but also as a father and husband.