Hirini and Bunting represent Māori at World Rugby Awards

By Te Ao - Māori News

Black Ferns Sevens captain Sarah Hirini, and co-coach Alan Bunting will be the Māori in the running at the World Rugby Awards next month.

Hirini is a finalist in the Women's World Sevens player of the year, while Bunting and co-coach Cory Sweeney are together up for coach of the year. All three played integral roles in guiding the Black Ferns Sevens to Olympic gold in Tokyo.

It is the fifth nomination for Hirini, who will be up against France's Anne-Cécile Ciofani, and Fijian duo Alowesi Nakoci and Reapi Ulunisau. 

Bunting, who has left his role with the Sevens program to take up the coaching role with the Chiefs wahine, and Sweeney will face off against All Blacks coach Ian Foster who has guided the All Blacks to a record-breaking season this year, recording only two losses from their 14 games to date in 2021. England Roses coach Simon Middleton and Wallabies coach Dave Rennie round out the finalists.

All Blacks Sevens co-captain Scott Curry is a finalist for Men's World Sevens Series Player of the Year, while All Black winger Will Jordan, who has scored 15 test tries this season is nominated for breakthrough player of the year. 

For the first time in 17 years, no All Black features in the Men' World Player of the Year, while no Black Fern no features in the Women's Player of the Year.