Women’s Rugby World Cup winning Captain Fiao’o Faamausili heads this year’s list of recipients of awards for service to Rugby in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.
Faamausili was appointed to the Officer of New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM), while former Black Fern Rochelle Martin, former Black Ferns Coach Darryl Suasua and Rugby Historian Clive Akers became Members of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM).
New Zealand Rugby Chief Executive Officer Steve Tew said that Faamausili, Martin and Suasua have had a tremendous involvement in shaping women’s rugby in New Zealand.
“This recognition is richly deserved. Fiao’o has been, and continues to be, an amazing leader in the women’s game and her contribution at all levels of rugby has been second to none,” he said.
It was her fifth appearance at a World Cup, and part of a big year for Faamausili who also bought up 100 caps for the Auckland Storm in the Farah Palmer Cup and was honoured with the Player of the Year Medal being named after her.
Outside of Rugby Faamausili has juggled her playing career with a professional career as a Detective Constable in the New Zealand Police.
Martin played 32 matches for the Black Ferns, including captaining the team in 2005.
A member of the New Zealand Fire Service, Martin is currently the Acting National Manager Recruitment and Assistant Area Manager and her recognition in Honours list also included services to Fire and Emergency New Zealand.
“Rochelle’s international career spanned over a decade and she too has been a great leader in the women’s game,” Tew said.
Suasua coached the Black Ferns for seven years, which included Women’s Rugby World Cup victories in 1998 and 2002. He has since also coach the New Zealand Women’s Sevens team to a World Cup in 2009. He currently is the Head Coach of Counties Manukau in the Mitre 10 Cup.
“Darryl has coached successfully at all levels of the game and was at the helm for our first Women’s Rugby World Cup victory. On behalf of the Rugby community in New Zealand we extend our congratulations for these honours,” Tew said.
Clive Akers is the current Chairman of the New Zealand Rugby Museum and has authored the Rugby Almanack for over two decades.
“The work that Clive and his team does to preserve the history of our game is phenomenal, it is fantastic to see him honoured,” Tew said.
Akers has been on the Management Committee of the New Zealand Rugby Museum for more than 40 years. In that time he has written seven major rugby history books.
Long serving commentator Grant Nisbett was also honoured, becoming a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to sports broadcasting.
Nisbett is set to commentate his 300th All Blacks Test next weekend.
Sheevas Dayal is Rugby Correspondent of Indian Newslink. He lives in Auckland.
Fiao’o Faamausili (From All Blacks Website)
Rochelle Martin (Courtesy: Newshub.co.nz)