Why the World's best sevens player has knife and fork written on his boots

Jerry Tuwai, the reigning World Rugby Men’s Sevens Player of the Year, has revealed why he puts the words “knife” and “fork” on every pair of rugby boots he wears .

The Fijian sevens superstar has his eyes set on helping his country win another Olympic Games gold medal in Tokyo this year and when the tournament takes place his boots will feature those two words that are designed to remind him of the sacrifices his parents made to give him a sporting chance.

Tuwai’s father and mother scrimped and saved enough money to buy their son his first pair of rugby boots. As she handed them over Tuwai’s mother told him “ this is your knife and fork .”

Tuwai’s rugby story has been showcased in a special video produced for Mizuno and has been released at a difficult time for everyone who is playing on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Circuit with the Hong Kong and Singapore tournaments postponed until October due to the coronavirus which may also make it difficult for Fiji to arrange practise matches with Australia and Samoa. With the Olympics sevens still scheduled to take place at the end of July, all the major nations are trying to find a way of maintaining match fitness until the next two rounds of the Sevens, due to take place in London (May 23-24) and Paris (May 30-31).

Tuwai is back in Fiji training and admits this was a part of his chosen sport he did not enjoy but success on the world stage has helped turn him into a model professional sevens star who has never forgotten the sacrifices his parents made.

In the film Tuwai says: “I did not know my Mum was saving some money for my rugby boots. I couldn’t believe it because I knew they weren’t earning big money. They bought me these boots and my mum told me “this is your life – this is your knife and your fork”. It really touched me and from that time until now I always write on my boots when I am about to play – knife and fork.

“When I get tired and want to give up I just picture our house and my parents and I am working for them. I just picture my Mum working and my Dad working hard on the farm.

“And I always pray “ God give me the strength – I can’t give up now” when my Mum and Dad never gave up on me. I never sacrificed a lot it- is because of the sacrifices of my Dad and my Mum and my family. Because of their sacrifice I am where I am today.”

Tuwai wants to help Fijian youngsters achieve even more than he has managed on the world stage and added: “Rugby can change anyone and I know that because I came through that life. One thing I regret in my life is dropping out of school but I am grateful that God has been good to me and provided me with another thing I can work on that’s my rugby.”