Black Ferns Sevens player Rugby Tui won the Women’s Seven Player of the Year award and All Blacks halfback TJ Perenara won the World Rugby’s try of the year at the World Rugby Awards in Tokyo.
A gracious Ruby Tui was quick to acknowledge those that play along-side her including her teammates Sarah Hirini and Tyla Nathan-Wong, who were both the finalists in the Women’s sevens player of the Year category. The sevens stalwart said that they had got equal pay with the men’s sevens tier payments in New Zealand and had got more tournaments as they wanted so she claimed that they now we have to front up.
TJ Perenara’s athletic try was a stand-out in the All Blacks match against Namibia during the recent Rugby World Cup. The expressive halfback praised the South African team during his acceptance speech for inspiring a nation by winning the 2019 RWC.
Fellow All Black, Ardie Savea was nominated for Player of the Year which went to South African flanker Pieter-Steph Du Toit.
Former All Black captain Richie McCaw and his former coach Sir Graham Henry were inducted into the World Rugby Hall of Fame along with the late Peter Fatialofa.
McCaw became inductee No 143. His accolades coved his 2011 and 2015 RWC victories and being World Rugby Player of the Year in 2006, 2009 and 2010 and services to the game.
Inductee No 147, Sir Graham Henry’s acknowledgement included being Head Coach of Wales, and the All Blacks where he won 88 matches out of 103. He was awarded World Rugby Coach of the Year in 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2011 and lead his side to Rugby World Cup glory in 2011. Henry was quick to praise his family, players and the work of the coaches he had worked alongside during his time in the role.
Papali'itele Peter ‘Fats’ Fatialofa’s family including his wife of their eight children, Anne and son Jeremiah were at the ceremony to accept his inductee cap when he became inductee #146. The Samoan icon and infamous piano mover was acknowledged for his contribution to the game including his role in captaining Manu Samoa and being the assistance coach of Samoa and women’s head coach and his Order of Merit from the Queen was highlighted.
“The World Rugby Hall of Fame recognises those who have made an outstanding contribution to the game of rugby throughout their careers, while also demonstrating rugby’s character-building values of integrity, passion, solidarity, discipline and respect.”