Weather Fiji, Suva   Max 30°C, Min 23°C

Fiji Sun

Editorial, Sunvoice, SunVoice

Nakarawa Makes A First For Fiji In European Rugby

Nakarawa Makes A First For Fiji In European Rugby
The best player in European rugby 2018, Leone Nakarawa.
May 14
14:15 2018

Congratulations to Fiji’s king off-loader, Leone Nakarawa, who was named the 2018 European Player of the Year.

He becomes the first Fijian to get this top European rugby award.

He was selected ahead of fellow teammate and half­back, Frenchman Maxime Machenaud. Others who were shortlisted include Leinster’s trio, Scott Fardy, Tadhg Furlong and Johnny Sexton

Nakarawa’s selection was determined by a com­bination of a public vote and a panel of renowned rugby experts.

At least 21,000 votes were registered after the initial list of nominees was named in January. It was said to be the biggest number of registered votes since the award started.

Not only is Nakarawa the first Fijian to get the award, he is the first player representing a TOP 14 club since 2015 when Nick Abendanon of ASM Cler­mont Auvergne won.

What an outstanding achievement!

As part of his award, Nakarawa collects one million air miles courtesy of official tournament partners Turkish Airlines.

A specially-struck commemorative medal will soon adorn his home along with the Anthony Foley Me­morial Trophy.

Here is how Nakarawa has been described by sports commentators around the world:

“Leone Nakarawa is the Fijian rugby player of eve­rybody’s dreams and most opponents’ nightmares. Long legged, lean and mean he can run like a back when the mood takes although he often prefers run­ning through would-be tacklers instead.”

Brendan Gallagher,

The Rugby Paper

“Leone Nakarawa, the Fijian lock who is looking to add to his Hollywood highlights reel against England on Friday night, possesses a back story that even Ste­ven Spielberg might consider too far-fetched to commit to celluloid.”

Daniel Schofield,

The Telegraph

“The fact Nakarawa plays for a Tier 2 nation un­doubtedly works against him in terms of the World Rugby awards – and quality of opposition is a valid concern in that regard – but as a rugby player, he has no equal.

“He lit up countless games in 2017 with his ability to keep phases alive with offloads and allow his team­mates to target disjointed defences, not to mention his formidable lineout work, powerful carrying and com­mitted defence.”

New Zealand Herald

We say, Well done Nakarawa.

Your achievement is certainly an inspiration for our young Fijian ruggers.

Feedback: rosi.doviverata@fijisun.com.fj

 

Related Articles

you said it
"I support it 200 percent, I am with FRU, the country and the people of Fiji. We want to bid to get one of the HSBC stops in Fiji."
Waisale Serevi
Sevens Legend

Latest Photo Gallery

Fijisun Online @Instagram