Fiji fume at world awards snub

Tue, 15 Nov 2016 06:52
Large fiji players display gold medals 800

REACTION: Fuming Fiji said they were gutted that none of their nominees won at the World Rugby awards this week and planned to make their feelings known to the sport's governing body.

New Zealand won a hat-trick of titles at the awards bash on Sunday in London, including Team of the Year, Player of the Year (Beauden Barrett) and Coach of the Year (Steve Hansen).

Fiji's Sevens team, who won the country's first-ever Olympic gold medal at Rio, were nominated for Team of the Year with their English coach Ben Ryan in the running for the top coach accolade but were overlooked for both.

The Fiji Rugby Union felt hard done by and in a statement widely carried by the nation's media said it was "in the process of expressing its concerns and disappointment to World Rugby".

"While we respect the achievement of the All Blacks during the year, we strongly believe that the impact of the Fiji Sevens team winning back to back World Sevens Series titles and more importantly winning the gold medal at the Rio Olympic Games had a far greater impact to the game of rugby globally," it said.

"We believe that our Sevens team with the meagre resources available to them has outperformed any other rugby team in 2016. 

"The rugby world expects the All Blacks to do well every time because they have all resources available to them."

Fiji are also upset that South Africa's Seabelo Senatla won the Sevens player of the Year gong, instead of Osea Kolinisau.

"The impact Osea Kolinisau had on the game of Sevens in the last two seasons by far outclasses any performance by Seabelo Senatla and we are disappointed he was not awarded the Sevens best Player of the Year," it said.

Sevens rugby is Fiji's national sport and part of its culture. The gold medal success in Rio galvanised the country with thousands of fans lining the flag-bedecked streets of Nadi to catch a glimpse of their idols on their return.

Agence France-Presse

There are currently no matches being played
Fri, 23 March 2018
Crusaders v Bulls 06h35 Christchurch
Rebels v Sharks 08h45 Melbourne
Connacht v Edinburgh 19h35 Sportsground
Dragons v Cheetahs 19h35 Rodney Parade
Glasgow Warriors v Zebre 19h35 Scotstoun
Bath v Exeter Chiefs 19h45 Recreation Ground
Sat, 24 March 2018
Sunwolves v Chiefs 04h15 Tokyo
Hurricanes v Highlanders 06h35 Wellington
Kings v Treviso 13h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
London Irish v Gloucester 15h00 Madejski Stadium
Saracens v Harlequins 15h00 London
Sale Sharks v Worcester Warriors 15h00 AJ Bell Stadium
Stormers v Reds 15h15 Newlands
Cardiff Blues v Ulster 15h15 Cardiff Arms Park
Munster v Scarlets 17h30 Thomond Park
Newcastle Falcons v Northampton Saints 17h30 Kingston Park
Ospreys v Leinster 19h35 Liberty Stadium
Jaguares v Lions 19h40 Estadio Jose Amalfitani
Sun, 25 March 2018
Leicester Tigers v Wasps 15h00 Welford Road
Pool 0
Team P W D L Pts
Spain Sevens 0 0 0 0 20
Papua New Guinea 0 1 0 0 1
Pool 00
Team P W D L Pts
Uruguay 0 0 0 1 1
Pool 19
Team P W D L Pts
England Sevens 0 0 0 0 19
Pool 20
Team P W D L Pts
Uganda Sevens 0 0 0 0 2
Pool A
Team P W D L Pts
Fiji Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Samoa Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Canada Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Pool B
Team P W D L Pts
New Zealand Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Australia Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
France Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Pool C
Team P W D L Pts
Argentina Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
United States Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Pool D
Team P W D L Pts
South Africa Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Kenya Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Russia Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Team P W D L Pts
Wales Sevens