Olympians star at World Rugby player of the decade awards

Rio 2016 sevens players Portia Woodman, Jerry Tuwai, and Jessy Tremouliere among the winners at the virtual awards ceremony

By Andrew Binner

Portia Woodman added another accolade to her impressive resume when she was announced as the Women’s Sevens Player of the Decade on Monday night.

The award was voted for by fans, and was part of the virtual World Rugby Awards Special Edition ceremony - recognising the top players of the decade in both the seven-a-side and 15-a-side codes.

New Zealand winger Woodman won rugby sevens silver at the Rio 2016 Olympics, gold at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, and is the top points scorer in World Series history.

It was one of two awards on the night for the 29-year-old, who also won the International Rugby Players’ Women’s 15s Try of the Decade for her effort during the Black Ferns’ victorious 2017 Rugby World Cup campaign.

Olympic Channel recently spoke to Woodman about how spirituality has underpinned her success, and helped her through some tough times too. You can read that interview here.

The World Rugby Men’s Sevens Player of the Decade award went to Jerry Tuwai.

The 31-year-old was one Fiji’s stand-out players at Rio 2016, as they sealed the Pacific island nation’s first ever Olympic gold medal.

Earlier this year, Tuwai told Olympic channel how that success helped unify Fiji, and why he wrote 'knife' and 'fork' on his boots.

Olympians among 15-a-side award winners too

The World Rugby Women's 15s Player of the Decade award went to Jessy Trémoulière of France, who also helped her nation reach the quarter-finals of Rio 2016 in sevens.

The women's 15-a-side team of the decade featured Rio 2016 Olympians Woodman and her compatriot fellow Kelly Brazier, alongside GB sevens stars Emily Scarratt and Danielle Waterman.

The World Rugby Men’s 15s Player of the Decade went to New Zealand's Richie McCaw, who led the All Blacks to World Cup titles in 2011 and 2015.