HONG KONG--(Marketwire - Mar 23, 2013) - Today the "King of Sevens" Waisale Serevi was inducted into the International Rugby Board (IRB) Hall of Fame in recognition of his years of on-field creativity, individual and team success, and dedication to the game of rugby. IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset inducted Serevi on the pitch prior to Fiji's pool play match in the Hong Kong Sevens versus Canada. In an international career spanning more than 20 years, Serevi was one of the few players to play both Fifteens and Sevens formats and is the first Fijian player to be inducted into the IRB Hall of Fame. He played his first international match in 1988 and went on to capture three straight Hong Kong Sevens titles (1990-1992) before leading Fiji to two Rugby World Cup Sevens Championships in 1997 and 2005.
"I am honored and humbled by this recognition from the IRB. The game of rugby has given my family and me so much and it is a privilege to join so many amazing players in the Hall of Fame," said Serevi. "It is also quite special to receive this honor here in Hong Kong, a place that has meant so much to my career and that I love coming back to."
"Serevi is one of Rugby's true greats," said Lapasset. "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 Sevens 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 Fiji Rugby Union's centenary year."
Since retiring from international play in 2007, Serevi has turned his attention to coaching and giving back to the game. In 2009, he co-founded Serevi Rugby®, an elite provider of on-field programming for coaches and players from beginner to Olympian across North America and beyond. Serevi's role is equal parts rugby ambassador, coach, and community builder, but he's often found on center stage at Serevi Rugby® youth and coaching camps.
Serevi, along with his fellow Serevi Rugby coaches, have been in Hong Kong all week working in partnership with the Hong Kong Rugby Football Union (HKRFU) to host a series of youth rugby camps across the territory. For updates and pictures from the week's events, please visit Serevi Rugby's Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/serevirugby.
Each year, the IRB Hall of Fame recognizes the achievements of individuals and organizations that have made outstanding contributions to the development of the Game worldwide. The theme of this year's induction is "Rugby -- a global Game" and celebrates Rugby's expansion to become a global sport played by millions of men and women worldwide. More information on the Hall of Fame can be found at: www.irb.com/history/halloffame.
About Serevi Rugby®
Headquartered in Seattle, Serevi® is focused on growing the game of rugby in North America and beyond. Serevi offers on-field programming for coaches and players through the youth to elite spectrum. It also offers performance and casual rugby apparel to players and fans of the sport. For more information on Serevi Rugby, including upcoming player and coach training sessions visit www.serevirugby.com.