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EDITORIAL : Our 7s Heroes Continue To Be Talk of the World

With 58 days to go before we welcome another New Year, pencil down 2016 as the stellar and best year yet in the history of Fiji Rugby Simply put, it
04 Nov 2016 12:00
EDITORIAL : Our 7s Heroes Continue To Be Talk of the World

With 58 days to go before we welcome another New Year, pencil down 2016 as the stellar and best year yet in the history of Fiji Rugby

Simply put, it would be hard to draw parallel to any  of our achievements in previous years.

Never before have we achieved so much and accomplished more to the envy of the tier one rugby nations.

Never before has our small island nation become the talk of the world.

Never before has Fiji being recognised  in a big way because of sevens rugby.

The Vodafone Fijian 7s team’s historic gold medal win at the Rio Olympics has catapulted our rugby image and country to a global scale.

The ripple effect from the Rio win continues to make us the talk of the world. And more came this week after Fiji was shortlisted in three categories for the World Rugby Awards 2016 at the Hilton London Metropole on November 13.

This is another first for Fiji to be nominated  in three categories and imagine what winning all three would do to our image.

We could be creating history again.

Osea Kolinisau is almost likely to win the sevens player of the year after leading Fiji to win the gold medal in Rio ahead of France’s Virimi Vakatawa and South Africa’s Seabelo Senatla, who crossed for 66 tries in the 2015-16 series.

Apart from the Olympic triumph, Kolinisau led Fiji to defend the World Sevens Series.

He is an able leader and his on-and-off the field demeanour should make his an instant choice.

Ben Ryan has been shortlisted to be the coach of year together with Steve Hansen of New Zealand and Eddie Jones of England.

Winning the first 7s rugby gold at the Olympics should set Ryan apart from Hansen and Jones who are involved in The Rugby Championship and the Six Nations on an annual basis.

Fiji’s sevens stars also feature on the shortlist for World Rugby Team of the Year alongside Six Nations Grand Slam winners England and the Rugby Championship winners New Zealand.

England and New Zealand have won it and have been in the spotlight before.

It would be hard to surpass Fiji’s team achievement this year. Fiji and World Rugby still celebrate what happened in Rio.

Fiji was part of the journey from the beginning. It played a prominent role in the crusade to include 7s rugby as an Olympic sport.

Our very own Waisale Serevi made a special plea together with the late Jonah Lomu to the International Olympic Committee in Singapore in 2009

The consistent lobbying supported by World Rugby convinced the IOC to vote for 7s rugby inclusion.

Seven years later we helped World Rugby promote the sports to a new high after a scintillating performance in Rio.

Next Sunday we should win three out of three awards in London which would cap off  a brilliant season. There is no reason why we can’t do it. We tick all the boxes in the list of performance indicators. Even NZ Herald’s sports columnist Chris Rattue ranks us higher than his own team, the mighty All Blacks. We agree with him. It is a no brainer.

Osea Bola

Feedback: oseab@fijisun.com.fj



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