All Blacks v USA Eagles: Players grieving over Sean Wainui's death can skip tour-opening test

Any All Black struggling to overcome grief of Sean Wainui's death will be excused from Sunday's test against USA Eagles at Washington DC.

The Chiefs and Māori All Blacks utility back was killed in a car accident on Monday.

Wainui, 25, represented the Chiefs and Crusaders in Super Rugby, and Taranaki and Bay of Plenty in the NPC. Many of the All Blacks touring group have shared the dressing room with him and are now impacted by the loss of a former teammate.

Sam Cane, Brad Weber, Damian McKenzie, Brodie Retallick, Anton Lienert-Brown, Luke Jacobson, Angus Ta'avao, Quinn Tupaea, Samisoni Taukei'aho, Tupou Vaa'i and Josh Lord are all current Chiefs.

As the All Blacks continue to grieve, Plumtree confirms that anyone struggling to take the field this weekend can skip the test if they need to - but he's also confident that it won't be the case.

"If there was someone that couldn't play, because mentally it was just too tough, then absolutely," Plumtree says. "But, I don't think you'll find that. 

"I think you'll find that Sean would have wanted all those boys to be available for this test match. I'll be surprised if one of them didn't want to play."

The All Blacks have assembled as a touring squad for the first time, with those travelling from Australia joining the quintet that had departed from New Zealand.

The group put time aside to share their memories of Wainui, with every single member of the squad taking part. 

"We've got more things put in place for those individuals," says Plumtree.

"Obviously, having Gilbert Enoka [mental skills coach] here, he's put things in place for those individuals.

"We've just really encouraged everyone to be open and to be able to talk about Sean with somebody. Being vulnerable now is really important.

"The boys have been fantastic in that space. Last night was really a special time for us as a team and for the Chiefs boys - and some of the Crusaders boys - that knew him best.

"We have acknowledged the fact that it's not over yet for some people and it is a long week, but we do have a test match to prepare for as well."

The Chiefs franchise has also set up a Givealittle page for Wainui, 25, with all funds going towards his whānau during their time of need.

Join Newshub for live updates of the All Blacks v USA Eagles from 8:30am Sunday.