SPORTS

Oceania To Honour Tuwai

A celebration to honour Fiji Airways Fijian 7s star halfback Seremaia ‘Jerry’ Tuwai is planned to be staged during the Oceania 7s tournament this weekend at the ANZ Stadium, Suva.
05 Nov 2019 14:02
Oceania To Honour Tuwai
Tongan rugby 7s side at the Nadi International Airport on November 4, 2019. Photo: Waisea Nasokia

A celebration to honour Fiji Airways Fijian 7s star halfback Seremaia ‘Jerry’ Tuwai is planned to be staged during the Oceania 7s tournament this weekend at the ANZ Stadium, Suva.

Last night, it was understood that plans were being discussed at Rugby House before details is conveyed to the Oceania Rugby executives.

Tuwai was named the World Rugby 7s Player of the Year during the awards night at the Prince Park Tower Hotel in Tokyo, Japan on Sunday night.

“Truly well- deserved and I’m so proud of you Tau,” stated 7s maestro Waisale Serevi through social media.

“A big thank you to all that helped Tau (Jerry), to get to where he is right now, all coaches, all players and especially the hard working Naca Cawanibuka

“A great way to start the HSBC 7s Series 2019/ 2020 leading up to the Olympic 2020. Many more to come and wishing you and your family all the best and God bless you always.”

Tuwai’s Olympian team-mate Samisoni Viriviri was the last Fijian player to win the award in 2014.

Meanwhile, the race to scoop that qualifying spot to next year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan has now intensified.

With Fiji and New Zealand confirmed, a strong Tongan side arrived yesterday to provide further challenge on favourites Australia and Samoa.

The Tongans had eight New Zealand-based players and are eager to play in the tournament that starts on Thursday.

Team manager Richard Weightman said, this is a massive opportunity for them to qualify for the Olympics and also get a spot to play in the series.

“We tasted last year what it’s like in Hamilton, Sydney and Hong Kong and we created some upsets by beating Japan and France,” he said.

He highlighted that they have the deadly Inise brothers Lotu and Fine who are playing for North Harbour. Other players include Winitaga Fotofili (captain), Sione Tupou, Niu Osika (Auckland), John Tapueluelu (Otago), Etu Sunia (Canterbury), and Aisea Halo (Auckland Marist).

“It will be tough as we’ll take on Samoa, and Australia who are fielding their best teams,” he added.

Weightman said the success of the Tongan rugby league team in upsetting world champs Australia 16-12 last Saturday, has motivated his players to do the impossible by winning that spot to the Olympics.

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua

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