Specman gets nod for World Rugby Sevens Player award

Rosko Specman (Getty Images)
Rosko Specman (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Blitzboks star Rosko Specman is one of the three players nominated for the 2017 World Rugby Sevens Player of the Year.

World Rugby has revealed the shortlist for the Men's Sevens Player of the Year 2017 award, which will be presented at the World Rugby Awards at the Salle des Etoiles in Monte Carlo on November 26.

The Blitzbok speedster was nominated alongside American Perry Baker and Jerry Tuwai of Fiji.

SA Rugby president Mark Alexander congratulated Specman on his nomination.

"Rosko had a great season and this is just reward for his efforts, which no doubt helped the Springbok Sevens team to conquer the world and win the overall 2016/17 World Rugby Sevens Series," said Alexander.

"He brought that 'Specmagic' to many rugby fields across the world and we are indeed privileged to have a player of his calibre in our midst. Credit must also go to the team and team structures which allows him to perform at that level and well done on the management and coaching staff for making sure that the team and players can perform at the best of their ability.

"The fact that we had the previous two winners in Werner Kok (2015) and Seabelo Senatla (2016) proves that Springbok Sevens coach Neil Powell and his team are doing something right."

The shortlist was selected by participating team managers, match officials and commentators on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2016-17.

Powell said it is gratifying to see their system producing players of the highest calibre: "It is always a team effort and knowing how much Rosko contribute in that system, his nomination is just reward.

"He had an unbelievable season and always delivered when we needed him to. It is no co-incidence that he was part of all five tournament wins last season, something in itself a magnificent performance."

Powell also congratulated Baker and Tuwai: "The World Series highlights the amazing athletic abilities of these guys and Perry and Jerry are certainly two of the most exciting players on the circuit, with both excelling and they are worthwhile contenders."

Specman himself was humbled by the nomination.

"Credit must go to the team. We all work together to make it tick and the individual performances are only possible because of the foundations laid by the team as a whole first," said the Blitzboks star.

"It is a big honour to be nominated and I am humbled by this. Thank you to all involved and I’d also like to congratulate Perry and Jerry, they both played incredibly well during the season."

Specman played in 48 matches in the 2016/17 series and scored 20 tries and two conversions for the Blitzboks.

He earned five tournament titles, being part of the winning squads in Dubai, Wellington, Sydney, Las Vegas and Paris.

He was also named Player of the Tournament at the HSBC Las Vegas Sevens. 

2017 World Rugby Men's Sevens Player of the Year nominees:

Perry Baker (USA)

Rosko Specman (South Africa)

Jerry Tuwai (Fiji)

Previous World Rugby Men's Sevens Player of the Year Award winners from South Africa are:

2016 - Seabelo Senatla

2015 - Werner Kok

2011 - Cecil Afrika

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