World Rugby has revealed that six legends of the game in Osea Kolinisau (Fiji), Humphrey Kayange (Kenya), Huriana Manuel-Carpenter (New Zealand), Cheryl McAfee (Australia), Will Carling (England) and Jim Telfer (Scotland) will be inducted into the World Rugby Hall of Fame in 2021.
The World Rugby Hall of Fame recognises those who have made an outstanding contribution to the game of rugby throughout their careers, demonstrating rugby’s character-building values of integrity, passion, solidarity, discipline and respect on and off the field.
The six inductees excel within two themes selected by the Hall of Fame panel for 2021, rugby Sevens and the Olympic Games in a big Olympic year, and the 150th anniversary of the first international match between Scotland and England in March 1871.
Sevens stars shining on and off the field
Kolinisau captained Fiji to their first-ever Olympic medal with gold at Rio 2016, while Manuel-Carpenter won silver with New Zealand as rugby sevens made its Olympic debut in Brazil.
Kayange also played in Rio but he and RWC Sevens 2009 winning captain McAfee (nee Soon) were members of the World Rugby bid team that convinced the International Olympic Committee members to elect rugby sevens to the Olympic programme in October 2009. This year, Kayange was elected to the IOC’s Athletes’ Commission and as an IOC Member, furthering rugby’s voice within the Olympic movement.
Celebrating the 150th anniversary of international rugby
In recognition of the 150th anniversary of the first international match, one player from England and Scotland will be inducted in former Grand-Slam winning England captain Will Carling and legendary former Scotland captain and coach Jim Telfer.
These six inductees will bring the number in the Hall of Fame to 154 since inception in 2006.
World Rugby chairman and Hall of Fame inductee number 94 Sir Bill Beaumont said: “On behalf of World Rugby, I would like to congratulate our six Hall of Fame inductees, who did not just make their mark on the field of play, but who has played a significant role in advancing the sport.
“In this Olympic year, we are recognising those who have all played a significant role in cementing rugby as an Olympic sport. Their contributions should not be underestimated in terms of the global growth of rugby. We are also acknowledging the contributions of those who have left their mark on the oldest international fixture in the game.”
Fellow World Rugby Hall of Fame inductee (number six) and chairman of the Hall of Fame panel John Eales said: “The 2021 inductees for the World Rugby Hall of Fame are representative of all that is good in our game. Each of them have been outstanding players in either sevens or 15s and they have also been important contributors to rugby, in their own countries and globally, off the field.
“As chair of the selection panel, I am so proud that the World Rugby Hall of Fame is able to recognise such worthy inductees, who have inspired generations of rugby players and fans through their many noteworthy achievements.”
The World Rugby Hall of Fame selection panel comprises Eales, secretary David Hands (England), Henri Garcia (France), Pablo Mamone (Argentina), Rob Cole (Wales), Anna Richards (New Zealand) and Wayne Smith (Australia).
World Rugby Hall of Fame 2021 inductees
149 – Osea Kolinisau (Fiji)
150 – Humphrey Kayange (Kenya)
151 – Huriana Manuel-Carpenter (New Zealand)
152 – Cheryl McAfee (Australia)
153 – Will Carling (England and British and Irish Lions)
154 – Jim Telfer (Scotland and British and Irish Lions)