Fiji winger Samisoni Viriviri crowned IRB Sevens player of the year

Fiji winger Samisoni Viriviri beats off competition from Tom Mitchell and Kyle Brown to win IRB Sevens player of the year

IRB Sevens player of the year Samisoni Viriviri Photo: Martin Seras Lima

Samisoni Viriviri has picked up the 2014 IRB Sevens player of the year after an outstanding campaign in the Sevens World Series.

The Fijian winger was the expected winner at a function at the conclusion of the London Sevens at Twickenham, which saw New Zealand collect their third consecutive Sevens Cup win and a 12th World Series title.

He’s scored some incredible tries and defended superbly well. I think I can remember one time in this whole season when somebody went round him

Ben Ryan

Viriviri saw off England captain Tom Mitchell, South Africa captain Kyle Brown and, the 2013 recipient, New Zealand’s Tim Mikkelson, to receive the prize after the quartet were shortlisted by the management teams of the 15 core sides who competed in this season’s World Series.

“I am very proud to win this award and be the first Fijian to be named IRB Sevens Player of the Year. I would like to thank God, my coach, my teammates and also my mum,” said Viriviri.

The 26-year-old, who will join French Top14 club Montpellier in June, finished the World Series with 52 tries from nine rounds and becomes the first Fijian to win the award since it was first presented in 2004.

“Sammi has had a breathtaking season,” added Fiji head coach Ben Ryan. “He’s scored some incredible tries and defended superbly well. I think I can remember one time in this whole season when somebody went round him.

“He’s played almost every minute and got better and better, firmly establishing himself as a world class Sevens winger.”

Playing in his first season with Sir Gordon Tietjens’ side, New Zealand’s Ambrose Curtis won the new Rookie of the Year award, while Scotland picked up the Fair Play Award, voted on by referees.

Viriviri was also named in the 2014 Dream Team along with All Blacks captain DJ Forbes—the 2008 player of the season.

Canada, much improved this season under Welshman Geraint John, had captain John Moonlight and Phil Mack included in the best seven players of the season.

Exciting South African youngster Justin Geduld, Australia’s Cameron Clark and New Zealand’s Scott Curry made up the rest of the team.

“The level of performance in this year’s HSBC Sevens World Series has been truly exceptional and has brought millions of fans around the world into the game,” said Giles Morgan, Group Head of Sponsorship for HSBC Holdings.

“With the added incentive of Olympic qualification, next year’s HSBC Sevens World Series is set to be the most exciting yet and so we look forward to all the players lighting up the tournaments around the world.”

HSBC Sevens World Series Dream Team 2014: Scott Curry (New Zealand), DJ Forbes (New Zealand), John Moonlight (Canada), Philip Mack (Canada), Samisoni Viriviri (Fiji), Cameron Clark (Australia), Justin Geduld (South Africa).

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