South Africa’s winger Seabelo Senatla has been crowned World Rugby Men’s Sevens Player of the Year.
Senatla was among the three South Africans nominated for the 2016 World Rugby Awards.
He was nominated for the World Rugby Sevens Player of the Year Award alongside Fiji’s Osea Kolinisau and France’s Virimi Vakatawa.
Records showed that Senatla bagging the award is well deserved. He scored 66 tries in 10 events in the 2015/16 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, which was the second-highest in the 17-year history of the series, and adding four more tries at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.
Aside Senetal, Rasta Rasivhenge and Jean de Villiers were also honored in various categories of the prestigious award. Speaking, President of SA Rugby Mark Alexander congratulated the three South Africans for making the country proud.
He said: “Seabelo gave us many reasons to smile during the last Sevens Series and all of us involved in South African rugby are very proud of this humble and hard-working young man.
“But, rugby is a team sport and I’m sure Seabelo will be the first to give credit to his team-mates – the Blitzboks had a great season and we can’t wait for the next series to start, as the challenge will be a great one to take things one step further.”
Commenting on Rasta Rasivhenge who shared the World Rugby Referee Award with Spain’s Alhambra Nievas, Alexander said: “Rasta, who won our own Outsurance Referee Award a few weeks ago, was rewarded for hours and hours of very hard work and we’re proud of him, but also of Jaco and all our other match officials.”
South Africa’s Jaco Peyper, was nominated with World Rugby Referee Award Jérôme Garcès (France) Alhambra Nievas (Spain) Jaco Peyper (South Africa) Rasta Rasivhenge, France’s Jérôme Garcès and Spain’s Alhambra Nievas for the World Rugby Referee Award.
Also, the President of SA Rugby praised former Springbok captain Jean de Villiers for taking the International Rugby Players’ Association’s Special Merit Award.
Alexander said, “it’s humbling to see one of our finest players honored by World Rugby this way and he’s fully deserving of this award as he has represented the best values of our game in many countries during his illustrious career.”
“When people speak of Jean, he is always referred to as a gentleman and a true ambassador for our country – and I fully agree with those sentiments,” proclaimed the President of SA Rugby.
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If you recall, De Villiers was compelled to walk away from rugby after he injured his jaw at Rugby World Cup 2015.