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Kunatani Nominated For Award

Kunatani Nominated For Award
Vodafone Fijian 7s rep Savenaca Rawaca in action at the London 7s. Photo: Ian Muir
May 19
08:29 2015

Vodafone Fijian 7s star Semi Kunatani has been named as one of the top three nominees for the 2015 World Rugby Sevens Player of the Year.

World Rugby said: “Kunatani has been impressive in both attack and defence for Ben Ryan’s side in all of their Cup titles this season, finishing the season as one of the leading tacklers and try scorers (40 tries to his name).”

World Rugby went on to state that having made his debut in Dubai last season, the Fijian has earned a contract with French club Toulouse for next season, but coach Ryan will have him available for four series tournaments next season, and the Olympics, should he select him.

Named alongside Kunatani for the top honour was South African duo Werner Kok and Seabelo Senatla. Kok praised as having ‘been instrumental in South Africa’s performances in all nine of the 2014-15 tournaments’ while Senatla ended the season as the leading try-scorer.

In addition to Kunatani’s nomination, he was named alongside skipper Osea Kolinisau in the overall series dream team and joined by USA’s Zack Test, English skipper Tom Mitchell and South African trio Kwagga Smith, Kok and Seabelo Senatla.

Dynamo Seremaia Tuwai was awarded the Rookie of the Year award, beating American Eagles’ speedster Perry Baker and New Zealand All Blacks 7s debutant Reiko Ioane.

Meanwhile, Amenoni Nasilasila and Isake Katonibau were named in the 2015 London 7s dream team alongside American duo Danny Barrett and Madison Hughes, English captain Mitchell and Australian speedster Pama Fou.

Ryan was overwhelmed by the accomplishment when speaking to World Rugby following the South Africa Cup quarterfinal victory that sealed their hold on the series title.

“I can’t really put them into words at the moment. We’ve won 29 out of our last 30 games, so we are on a pretty hot streak and I’ve got a great team around me.”

After defeating South Africa 19-7, Fiji lost to Australia 7-33 in the Cup semifinal, but bounced back to defeat England 26-12 in the third/fourth place play-off.

Feedback: eroni.tuinaceva@fijisun.com.fj

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