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Fiji 7s legend Kolinisau inducted into World Rugby Hall of Fame

Fiji’s former Sevens captain Osea Kolinisau is to be inducted into the World Rugby Hall of Fame.

Fiji's Osea Kolinisau scores a try in the men’s rugby sevens gold medal match. Photo: AFP
Fiji’s Osea Kolinisau scores a try in the men’s rugby sevens gold medal match. Photo: AFP

By RNZ Pacific

He led Fiji to the country’s first ever Olympic medal in Rio in 2016 as well as back to back World Sevens Series titles in 2015 and 2016.

Kolinisau made his international sevens debut in 2008 and captained Fiji from 2013 until 2017, appearing in a record 62 events for Fiji on the World Series.

One of his best performances came in the final of the Hong Kong Sevens in 2013, where he stepped off the bench to score a hat-trick of tries and help Fiji secure a famous comeback win against Wales.

The 35 year-old carried Fiji’s flag at the Rio 2016 Opening Ceremony and scored the first of his team’s seven tries in the gold medal match as they defeated Great Britain 43-7.

The World Rugby Hall of Fame recognises people who have made an outstanding contribution to the game of rugby throughout their careers, demonstrating rugby’s character-building values of integrity, passion, solidarity, discipline and respect on and off the field.

Osea Kolinisau is the second Fijian to be inducted into the World Rugby Hall of Fame, joining “The King of Sevens” Waisale Serevi, who was recognised in 2013, and is among six inductees in the class of 2021.

His former coach, Ben Ryan, brought him back into the Fiji team in 2013 and immediately made him captain.

He said Kolinisau became his “cultural architect” and helped to “share the gospel” he was trying to get across to the Fijian squad.

Fiji Sevens captain Osea Kolinisau is among six returning Olympic champions
Osea Kolinisau in action on the World Sevens Series. Photo: World Rugby / Martin Seras Lima

Osea Kolinisau retired from top level sevens in 2017 before playing stints with the Houston Sabercats and Old Glory DC in the United States.

He has since moved into rugby coaching in the USA.

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