The greatest 7's rugby player of all time Waisale Serevi who honored the Dog River Howlers by playing with our club in 2011 was inducted into the IRB Hall Of Fame today prior to the Hong Kong 7's match between his beloved Fiji and Canada.
IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset in making making the presentation said " Serevi is one of Rugby's true greats. He was an exceptional player who has excelled in both Sevens and Fifteens and achieved all that there is to achieve in Rugby Sevens with his beloved Fiji, winning Rugby World Cup Seven and Sevens World Series titles, while also winning the hearts of fans around the world with his exciting and entertaining style of play .He was a gentleman in victory and defeat and played his Rugby with a smile, promoting Rugby’s character-building values of passion, respect, discipline, solidarity and integrity. There is no doubt that his exploits on and off the field firmly established Pacific Island Rugby on the global Rugby map, while also playing a significant part in the phenomenal rise in popularity of Rugby Sevens, which ultimately played a significant role in Rugby Sevens becoming an Olympic Sport. I am delighted to be inducting Serevi into the IRB Hall of Fame in the Fjji Rugby Union’s centenary year.”
Serevi-led teams captured three straight Cup titles at the Hong Kong Sevens from 1990-1992, and it was there that Fiji won two Rugby World Cup Sevens (1997 and 2005) with their talisman at the helm.
The diminutive playmaker enjoyed an unbroken run of appearances at the Hong Kong event from 1989 to 2000, and went on to claim a total of seven tournament wins – and four Player of the Tournament awards – before bidding a fond farewell to the venue in 2007.
Able to turn a game on its head in the blink of an eye with a swivel of his hips, an untouchable side-step or through a wonderfully weighted pass, Serevi still holds the record for most points scored (297) in Rugby World Cup Sevens tournaments.
In Rugby terms he possessed a sixth sense, prompting his former coach Franck Boivert to say: “When he plays, Serevi shows to the blind, talks to the deaf and gets the mute to sing.”
Serevi was one of the few players to play both Fifteens and Sevens formats, the former taking him to play for clubs in England, France and Japan. He appeared in 38 Tests for Fiji at Fifteens, including three Rugby World Cup campaigns, scoring 221 points in a stop-start career that ran from 1989 to 2003.
He also represented the Barbarians five times and is the only player in Fijian Rugby to have played in every position across the backline.
While he played both formats, it was in the Sevens arena that his genius was plain for all to see. New Zealand Sevens legend Eric Rush once admitted: “At times when we played Fiji, the things Serevi did on the field made me want to turn around and clap.”
The Howlers congratulate and salute the great Servi who done so much to raise the profile of the 7's genre of our game. He unequivocally demonstrates that for him " IT'S MORE THAN A GAME, IT'S WAY OF LIFE".