Fiji Rugby Team Coaches, Players Receive National Honors

Celebrations in Labasa going on today

By Talebula Kate

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, August 26, 2016) – Chris Cracknell and Jeremy Manning were yesterday awarded the Officer of the Order of Fiji by the President of Fiji, Jioji Konrote.

Cracknell, who was the coaching director for the Fijiana team and the forwards and skills coach for the men's team and Manning the kicking coach for the Fiji 7s team, received their medal for their distinguished service of a high degree to Fiji or to humanity at large.

Also receiving their Officer of the Order of Fiji medal were the three members of the Fiji 7s team to Rio who were part of the Rio Olympics closing and had arrived into the country on Wednesday — team manager Ropate Kauvesi, Leone Nakarawa and Semi Kunatani.

In his address, Mr Konrote said the historic win in Rio deserved the best reception and awards that the nation could afford now, given all other considerations.

"The Fiji Rugby Union and especially Ben Ryan have advised me that the two men each played vital and distinctive roles for the team, not only in the Olympic Games, but importantly in the build-up to the Olympics," Mr Konrote said.

"Their contributions to the men's team, which started back in 2013 when Fiji secured the services of national coach Ben Ryan, certainly contributed towards Fiji's win in the World Sevens Series for two consecutive years. It culminated in our gold medal win in Rio," he said.

"On this occasion, Fiji is standing tall within the sporting fraternity due to the achievements of our 7s rugby team.

"They have transformed Fiji into the Superpower in World Sevens Rugby.

"This achievement alone will forever be remembered favourably in our young nation's history."

Meanwhile, Fiji Rugby Union CEO John O'Connor confirmed that the celebrations on Monday at the ANZ Stadium in Suva was especially for the Fiji 7s team who won the gold medal in the Rio Olympics.

As for Nakarawa, Kunatani and Kauvesi, Mr O'Connor said, they might be receiving their cash incentive at the Labasa celebrations today.

Fiji Times Online.
Copyright © 2016 Fiji Times Online. All Rights Reserved

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