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Fiji to honour 7s star

Maikeli Seru
Saturday, January 13, 2018

DEREK Jamie 'DJ' Forbes, the man Fijians and Fiji rugby fans loved to hate whenever he played against Fiji, will be in the country next Monday for the 2018 Mana Whey Fiji Coral Sevens at Sigatoka.

For almost 10 years, since his predecessor Eric Rush left, DJ Forbes was a rugby enemy to Fijians because of his country, New Zealand.

He has led the Kiwis to many victories against Fiji, especially in the Hong Kong Sevens and the World Rugby Sevens Series.

But watch on Monday, once he steps into the plane in Auckland to come to Fiji, Fijians who cross his path will either offer him a handshake, a "Bula" greeting accompanied by the popular Fijian smile, a photo opportunity or selfie, a hug or an autograph.

It will continue when he steps out of the plane in Nadi and during his stay at the tournament.

So far, Fijians have put aside the hatred to this rugby star and loved him like our own. He will be worshipped, loved and given the best Fijian hospitality next week.

This is because he is the ambassador of this year's tournament.

To thank him for his contribution to rugby, Fiji will include this man that we used to hate on the Coral Coast Sevens Walk of Fame, says tournament founding chairman, Jay Whyte.

"DJ Forbes is the ambassador this year," Whyte said.

"When he announced his retirement, we thought it would be a great opportunity to invite him to Fiji to be the ambassador for the Mana Whey Fiji Coral Coast Sevens. We will unveil his plaque on the walk of fame alongside the likes of David Campese, Waisale Serevi, Jonah Lomu, and last year we had George Gregan.

"Alongside DJ Forbes, we welcome the return home of Ratu Peni Rayani, the ginger-ninja Fijian legend coach. He will be returning to spend time at the tournament. Rasta Rasivhenge is coming back for the second time. We also have Lote Tuqiri and Serevi coming back."

DJ Forbes and his family arrive on Monday at 4pm while Rasivhenge on Tuesday at 12.30pm from Sydney, Australia.


Derek Jamie "DJ" Forbes was born December 15, 1982.

He is a New Zealand former rugby union player and captain of the All Blacks Sevens team.

Forbes is part Samoan, and also plays rugby 15s as a loose forward for Counties Manukau.

Forbes was born in Auckland, New Zealand.

Since receiving the captaincy role in 2006, he has played in more than 60 tournaments, won six 7s series titles and two Commonwealth Games gold medals.

Forbes stepped down as captain for the All Blacks Sevens to concentrate on earning a spot in the team for the 2016 Olympics.

His uncle is the late former Samoan international Peter Fatialofa.

Forbes was awarded the 2008 New Zealand Samoan Sportsperson of the year.

He announced his retirement from Rugby Sevens in 2017.

He appeared in 512 games in 89 tournaments and won 6 World Series.

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