Sione Lauaki's wife Stephanie: 'I'll never let them forget you'

  • 18/02/2017

Sione Lauaki's wife Stephanie described her late husband as a selfless person who did everything for love.

She told mourners at the ex-All Black's funeral Lauaki was everything family and friends needed him to be - a father, a son, a husband and a friend.

"He was blessed with so much love. I feel really honoured to have been his wife, and the mother of his children."

She said when she looks at her sons, she sees Lauaki in them.

"I'll never let them forget how amazing you are."

Ian Foster, Lauaki's coach during his time with the Chiefs, spoke of Lauaki's rugby career and skill on the field.

"He had the ability to take a game and impose his physicality on it - he was gifted like that".

Foster also spoke of the Lauaki he knew off the field.

"I remember Sione's smile had a mischievous look about it. When he got caught doing something he'd let out a child-like giggle that just didn't seem right coming out of that big body."

He told the church Lauaki had a presence that was almost unequalled.

"He would light up a room. He did make mistakes, but it was the mark of the man when he would put up his hand and say he'd stuffed up. That was one of his greatest strengths."

Students from Kelston Boys' High School, where Lauaki spent his teenage years, performed a haka for mourners.

Lauaki, a blockbusting forward, had been on dialysis after being diagnosed with renal failure and cardiovascular problems in 2012.

Lauaki made his debut for the Chiefs in 2004 before earning an All Black call-up in 2005. He played 70 Super Rugby matches and was capped 17 times for New Zealand.