Rugby Union

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Naisarani wins Rebels Super players' gong

Gun back-rower Isi Naisarani has won the Melbourne Rebels' Players' Player award in his first season at the Super Rugby club.

The Fiji-born former Brumbies representative was rewarded for his consistently strong performances, leading the Rebels in total run metres and tackles per game in his 13 matches through the season.

"I am incredibly honoured and privileged to have been named the Players' Player," Naisarani said on Wednesday.

"To be recognised by my team mates is something special and very meaningful.

"I would like to thank my family in Fiji and Brisbane for all of their support. They are my inspiration and have been with me every step of the way on my rugby journey".

Naisarani, 24, is hopeful his domestic form will lead to a call-up for the Wallabies in the World Cup year, after qualifying through residency in April.

In other awards, prop Matt Gibbon won the Spirit of Weary Dunlop award in his breakthrough season.

The prop played all sixteen games this season after arriving in Melbourne without a full time contract in November.

Chosen by Rebels coaching staff, the award goes to the player who best exemplifies the club's values of defending the line against all odds, never giving in, being a great team person and battling the hard moments on the field.

Melbourne's Super Rugby season ended last week in disappointing fashion with the final round loss to the Chiefs seeing them crash out of finals contention.

--End of article--

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