Manu Vatuvei opens up on touching hand-hold with Glen Osborne during Dancing With The Stars elimination

Former Warriors player Manu Vatuvei has opened up about the heart-breaking elimination of his friend Glen Osborne from Dancing With The Stars on Monday night.

Speaking to The Breeze morning show with Robert and Jeanette, Vatuvei says he knew "there would be a time I would be in the bottom two", but he didn't expect it to be with the fellow sporting legend.  

"I never knew I would be there with Glen so it was a real hard moment," he said.

Vatuvei called the scene a show of "brotherhood between two men".

"We just wanted to grab onto each other to say 'good luck', then we ended up holding hands and not realising it," he explained.

"Emotions were just running through both of us - we both felt the same."

Vatuvei says he believes the show is helping break down barriers over shows of emotion between Kiwi men. 

"It was good to show emotions as men; sometimes we show this tough side of us and don't want to show the soft side. Dancing With The Stars has shown the soft side."

He also explained the touching caption on the photo of the pair he posted on Instagram following the elimination.

"People say it's just a show, but it was just tough being in the bottom two, and even tougher being there with Glen," said Vatuvei

"[He was] someone we all really looked up to during the show and him and Vanessa would always look after us and make sure we were ok."

Vatuvei says "the tank is empty" as they get closer towards the semi-final.

"It's about just trying to keep in there. It's been a tough week - more mentally draining."

Dancing With The Stars NZ airs live at 7pm Sundays and 7.30pm Mondays on Three. Previous episodes can be viewed on ThreeNow.