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Rookie voted best Australian Super Rugby player

Naisarani picks up Australia's top Super Rugby award

In a small consolation for the exiled Western Force, Fijian-born backrower Isi Naisarani has been voted Australia’s best Super Rugby player in 2017 in his first season as a professional player.

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Naisarani finished top of the voting with 87 votes, ahead of Rebels backrower Amanaki Mafi (78), and Brumbies duo Allan Alaalatoa (69) and Henry Speight (64).

“On behalf of Australia’s players, I want to congratulate Isi for an exceptional achievement,” RUPA President Dean Mumm said.

“The challenges associated with playing for the Western Force in 2017 have been well-documented, yet Isi’s performances have been consistently outstanding despite the unsettling landscape.

Isi Naisarani’s rise in Australian rugby started three years ago where he played club rugby for Souths in Brisbane. A promotion with the Brisbane City NRC side in 2016 showed glimpses of potential where Naisarani scored five tries, leading to the Force jumping at the chance to sign him.

Following the Super Rugby season the Brumbies annouced they had secured the rising talent for 2018.

“That, coupled with his youth and inexperience heading into the season, only make his performances all the more remarkable.

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“The prospect of Isi competing for a Wallaby place in early 2019 is incredibly exciting, and I look forward to watching him continue to develop at the Brumbies in 2018.”

 

Naisarani is the third backrower to ever win the award after Pocock (2010 & 2015) and George Smith (2007 & 2008).

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Turlough 5 hours ago
Jean de Villiers' three word response to 'best in the world' debate

This ‘raging’ debate is only happenning in media circles and has never been a topic in Ireland (although SA media are interested). It makes the media companies money I guess. SA are RWC champions and #1 ranked team although Ireland are back within a point there. The facts point to SA. For a lot of 2021 France beat ALL their rivals and Ireland similar in 2022-2023. It is not wrong to say that on such form either can be deemed to be the current best team if they have beaten all their rivals and ranked #1. The ‘have to have won a world cup’ stipulation is nonsense. The world cup draw and scheduling has been tailored to the traditional big teams since the start. The scheduling also which sees the big teams sheltered from playing a hard pool match the week before has also been a constant. It is extraordinary that for example France have made so many finals. Ireland who were realistically only contenders in 2023 were in a Pool with two other top 5 teams and had to play one of them 7 days before a quarter final against France or New Zealand. Always going to be a coin toss. Scotland’s situation was worse. New Zealand had great chances in 1995, 1999, 2007 but they could not win a tight RWC match. The first tight match they ever won was versus France in the 2011 final, literally they lost every other tight match before that. Some of those NZ teams around that era were #1 surely?

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