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Tuwai Nominated For 7s Awards

Fiji Airways Fijian 7s halfback Jerry Tuwai has again being shortlisted for the HSBC Men’s Sevens Player of the Year 2019.
07 Sep 2019 14:19
Tuwai Nominated For 7s Awards
Fiji Airways Fijian 7s halfback Jerry Tuwai is again shortlisted for the World Rugby 7s Player of the Year 2019 award. Photo: olympic.org

Fiji Airways Fijian 7s halfback Jerry Tuwai has again being shortlisted for the HSBC Men’s Sevens Player of the Year 2019.

This was revealed by World Rugby yesterday as they unveiled the list of Men and Women’s 7s Players of the Year nominees.

The awards will be presented at the World Rugby Awards at the Prince Park Tower, Tokyo, Japan, on November 3.

FIRST TIME WINNER

A first-time winner of each award is guaranteed, although some of the nominees are no strangers to being nominated for the prestigious accolade with New Zealand captain Sarah Hirini and Tuwai nominated for the fourth and third times respectively.

New Zealand’s Ruby Tui is the only other player on the two shortlists with a previous nomination, back in 2017 while Tyla Nathan-Wong also of New Zealand is the other nominee.

Both shortlists were selected by a mix of votes cast by players (30 percent) and an expert panel (70 percent) featuring former sevens stars Humphrey Kayange, Jen Kish, Tiana Penitani, Karl Tenana, Danielle Waterman and Marika Vunibaka.

Both shortlists were selected by a mix of votes cast by players (30 percent) and an expert panel (70 percent) featuring former sevens stars Humphrey Kayange, Jen Kish, Tiana Penitani, Karl Tenana, Danielle Waterman and Marika Vunibaka.

MEN’S NOMINEES

FOLAU NIUA (USA)

A mainstay of the USA team, Niua became his country’s most-capped player in the history of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series with his 63rd tournament in Sydney in February.

The 34-year-old playmaker, who can kick off both feet, was a key factor in the USA’s dominant restart that was at the heart of their most successful season ever, hitting an all-time high of 45 per cent.

Niua featured in the USA’s successful title defence in Las Vegas and was named in the HSBC Dream Team for the 2019 series.

STEPHEN TOMASIN (USA)

The youngest of all six nominees at 24, Tomasin is an equally important cog in the USA Sevens team that were the only ones to reach the Cup semi-finals of all 10 events on the 2019 series.

A powerful player with plenty of pace, Tomasin is also someone who thrives on pressure situations as he showed with his match-winning try with the last play against Australia at Twickenham.

He scored 29 tries last season, a figure bettered only in the USA squad by speedster Carlin Isles.

JERRY TUWAI (FIJI)

Fijian playmaker Jerry Tuwai earns a nomination for the third year running after once again carving open defences at will with his vision and step, making the most of his diminutive frame to dart through gaps to create opportunities for himself or those around him.

He may no longer have the captain’s armband but he is still the heartbeat of the Fijian side, helping them win titles in Cape Town, Hamilton, Hong Kong, London and Paris and a third series title for himself.

The 30-year-old also featured in the HSBC Dream Team for the third year in a row.

World Rugby chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said: “These players are excellent role models for our sport and embody the values and attributes that rugby sevens stands for, both on and off the field of play.

“The skill and character that they demonstrate has undoubtedly played a part in the ongoing success story of rugby sevens.

“Last season we saw new records set from a performance perspective, but also in terms of fan engagement with more than 198 million views across our video content which we hope will inspire even more people to take up playing or supporting rugby sevens.”

OTHER AWARDS

These awards are two of 12 categories of awards, including the World Rugby Men’s and Women’s 15s Players of the Year, World Rugby Team of the Year, World Rugby Breakthrough Player of the Year and Award for Character.

The only Fijian player to win the 7s award was Samisoni Viriviri in 2014. He played with Tuwai at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil where they won the country’s first gold medal.

Edited by Osea Bola

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