It’s Tuwai’s Time

On record, Fiji Airways Fijian 7s veteran halfback Seremaia Tuwai is the frontrunner to win the World Rugby 7s Player of the Year award.
29 Sep 2019 15:44
It’s Tuwai’s Time
Fiji Airways Fijian 7s halfback Seremaia ‘Jerry’ Tuwai is tackled by fellow nominee Stephen Tomasin of the USA during the Hamilton 7s Cup final. Photo: World Rugby

On record, Fiji Airways Fijian 7s veteran halfback Seremaia Tuwai is the frontrunner to win the World Rugby 7s Player of the Year award.

In actual fact, there’s no one else that could match his achievements in the last Series unless the judges think otherwise.

This is highly unlikely. The 30-year-old playmaker was named in the World Series ‘Dream Team’ for the third year running.

Tuwai was a key figure when the Fijians won titles in Cape Town, Hamilton, Hong Kong, London and Paris to secure the 2018/19 World Sevens Series, their first since 2016.

The other nominees for the award are USA’s Folau Niua and Stephen Tomasin. In due respect although they have done well in the Series, they have not come closer to what Tuwai has achieved, so far.

This year, he was the only 7s player to win the prestigious Hong Kong 7s title for the fifth-year-in a- row.

There’ll be a new winner this year. This was after USA star winger Perry Baker who had won the award for the past two years was not considered, this time around.

Twice, Tuwai had come closer to winning the award. He was nominated in 2017 and 2018 but on both occasion he was beaten to it by Baker.

Baker in his column with Rugby Pass, this year praised the Fijian halfback for his achievements in the sport. This was an extract of what he wrote;

“Jerry Tuwai is a truly remarkable rugby player. Every time he gets the ball something magical happens and that is why he is so important to the Fiji team that won an incredible fifth successive Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens title.

“Winning one title in Hong Kong is an outstanding achievement but FIVE in a row – now that is something special because it is the biggest Sevens tournament of them all.

“I love watching Jerry in action for Fiji and he is one of the best players on the circuit. I have seen Jerry step past guys when there is no space to do anything. His footwork gets him out of trouble while his ball handling is unbelievable.

“Jerry is also a really tough guy who reads the game well and is a very effective sweeper for Fiji– he does it all to the delight of their amazing fans who have been featured in a special HSBC mini-film.”

The winners will be announced at the World Rugby Awards in Tokyo, Japan on November 3, the night after the Rugby World Cup final.

Edited by Osea Bola

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