Legendary Papali’itele “Fats” in World Rugby Hall of Fame
Legendary Manu Samoa, Papali’itele Peter Fatialofa, affectionately known as ‘Fats,’ will be posthumously inducted into the World Rugby Hall of Fame after the final of the Rugby World Cup in Japan.
The decision was confirmed by World Rugby Chairman and Hall of Fame inductee, Sir Bill Beaumont, in a press statement.
Papali’itele, former Manu Samoa captain who passed away in 2013, is among legends of the game to be honoured including Sir Richie McCaw (New Zealand), Shiggy Konno (Japan), Os du Randt (South Africa), Graham Henry (New Zealand) and Diego Ormaechea (Uruguay).
While Papali’i and Konno will be inducted posthumously, McCaw, Henry and Ormaechea will attend the prestigious event.
“Our beloved game of rugby would not be what it is today without the contributions of remarkable trailblazers, men and women, who form the World Rugby Hall of Fame,” Sir Beaumont is quoted as saying.
“They are players and coaches, true legends of the game that have embodied our values and will continue to inspire generations to come.
“On behalf of the rugby family, I would like to recognise and celebrate the outstanding achievements of this year’s six new inductees, Richie McCaw, Shiggy Konno, Os du Randt, Peter Fatialofa, Graham Henry and Diego Ormaechea for their outstanding career and thank them for their immense footprint on our game.
“We look forward to honouring them in November at what promises to be a very special night.”
Fellow World Rugby Hall of Fame inductee and Chairman of the Hall of Fame panel. John Eales, congratulated the hall of famers.
“It is an honour to recognise the contribution of our newest inductees who, over different eras and regions, have inspired millions of rugby players and supporters. Through their induction, they represent the many thousands of men and women who have made our game great,” he said.
According to a statement, the World Rugby Hall of Fame presented by Tudor recognises those who have made an outstanding contribution to the game of rugby throughout their careers, while also demonstrating rugby's character-building values of integrity, passion, solidarity, discipline and respect.
This year’s inductees will be honoured at the World Rugby Awards in Tokyo on 3 November, the day following the Rugby World Cup 2019 final.
These six inductees bring the total in the Hall of Fame to 148 since it began in 2006. Muliagatele Brian Lima is another Samoan World Rugby Hall of Famer.
ABOUT PAPALI’ITELE (profile from World Rugby)
Born: 26 April, 1959 in Auckland, New Zealand | Died: 6 November, 2013
World Rugby Hall of Fame – Inductee No.146
A prouder individual never wore the Samoan jersey than the man affectionately known in rugby circles as “Fats”.
The all-action prop captained the Islanders when they achieved a breakthrough win against Wales on their Rugby World Cup debut in 1991, shocking their hosts and the rest of the world with a 16-13 victory in which he gave the final pass for Sila Vaifale’s match-winning try.
Under his inspirational leadership Western Samoa, as they were then known, went on to reach the quarter-finals and they did so again in South Africa four years later when he shared the captaincy with Pat Lam.
A fun-loving character who lived life to the full, Fatialofa was a hugely influential role model for Polynesian players throughout the Islands and in his birthplace of Auckland, New Zealand. He was a cornerstone of the Auckland pack that held the Ranfurly Shield from 1985-93 and a stalwart of the Ponsonby club.
After retiring with 34 caps to his name, the gentle giant worked as a director of his family-owned piano and furniture moving business, and was coaching the Samoan women's rugby team when he died of a heart attack, aged 54, in November 2013.