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Plaudits for Kok after World Rugby award

2015-11-02 18:11
Werner Kok (Getty Images)

Cape Town - The South African Rugby Union (SARU) on Monday congratulated Werner Kok on his World Rugby Sevens Player of the Year Award.

The Springbok Sevens dynamo received his award during a star-studded World Rugby Awards ceremony at Battersea Evolution in London on Sunday evening.

The 22-year old is the second South African to win the Sevens Player of the Year Award after compatriot Cecil Africa won it in 2011.

Kok scooped the prize ahead of his team-mate Seabelo Senatla, the Sevens World Series’ top try-scorer of last season, and Fijian Semi Kunatani.

He was very instrumental in South Africa’s performances in all nine rounds of the 2014/15 World Series, helping his team to second place on the final log and automatic qualification for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

The powerful running Kok made his Springbok Sevens debut only two seasons ago and quickly established himself as a prominent figure in the Blitzboks’ attack. He was especially in great form at the Nelson Mandela Bay SA Sevens in Port Elizabeth last December, where he helped the South Africans to successfully defend their home title.

Although dangerous on attack, he however announced himself on the demanding Sevens rugby stage as a fierce tackler. He ended the 2014/15 season as the World Series’ leading tackler.

Oregan Hoskins, the SARU president, on Monday congratulated Kok on winning the prestigious award. “Werner is a product of our successful SARU Sevens Academy and his rapid rise on the World Series circuit the past two season was astounding,” said Hoskins.

“He has all the attributes of a very good sevens player - hardworking, dedicated and very passionate.”

The SARU president added: “Werner is a young man but already a good ambassador for the game of sevens. His enthusiasm for the game is contagious and despite his rapid rise he continues to be a humble young player, who acknowledges that he has still much to learn. I want to congratulate him on behalf of SARU and wish him and his Springbok Sevens team mates and management all of the best for the forthcoming season.”

Kok made his international debut at the London Sevens in 2013 and has since played in 18 World Series tournaments for his country.

He was also a member of the successful South African team that won the Gold Medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

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