The Super Rugby social media awards

Spy News,
Publish Date
Thursday, 3 August 2017, 9:12PM
Photo / Instagram @ malakaifekitoa
Photo / Instagram @ malakaifekitoa

As another year of Super Rugby wraps up this weekend, it's time to look back on the season and dish out a few awards.

But while others debate who may be the player and coach of the year, we’ll instead look at who's made the most of their large and dedicated fan base on Instagram and Twitter with the best social media game of 2017.

Best changing room pose
Awarded to: Malakai Fekitoa

We have no idea what brought on this display of bromance in the Highlanders' camp, but it is positively adorable.

Former All Black Malakai Fekitoa – once crowned the king of selfies by Dan Carter – has always had a strong presence online, and we're certain his move to French club, Toulon, will provide ample opportunities to further delight his 282,000 Instagram followers.


These two aren't well 😂

A post shared by Malakai Fekitoa (@malakaifekitoa) on Mar 28, 2017 at 11:40pm PDT


Cutest Super Rugby pet
Awarded to: Nehe Milner-Skudder's fur babies

In a tightly contested category (because just about every professional rugby player in the country has a super-cute four-legged friend), Nehe Milner-Skudder's puppies, Olive and Wiremu, have edged out the competition.

The Hurricanes star and his partner, Hanna Tevita, welcomed the two dogs to their home in April – and it looks like they're already ruling the roost.


A post shared by Nehe Milner-Skudder (@skudz015) on Jul 3, 2017 at 11:10pm PDT


Best Barrett brother account
Awarded to: Beauden Barrett

Sorry, Scott and Jordie, but big brother Beauden is leading the Instagram charge in the Barrett family.

While it stands to reason that the more senior All Black and Super Rugby star of the trio has the largest following (260,000 Instagram fans compared to Jordie's 44,600 and Scott's 12,000), Beauden also offers the most glamorous glimpse into life as an elite athlete.

Those idyllic holiday snaps, the swish product endorsements, the schmoozing with billionaires ... time to step up that side of the game, little brothers!



The Magnum PI award for services to facial hair
Awarded to: Cory Jane

It wouldn't be a Super Rugby season without some questionable facial hair being sported.

And winger Cory Jane delivered the goods this year, even if his Hurricanes teammates didn’t always appreciate it.

After shaving in a moustache in March, Jane told his Instagram fans: "Do you think I could get one positive comment about it at training with the Hurricanes boys? NO. #HATERS."



Although we have to say it's certainly preferable to the moustache situation he had going on a few months later.


What do we reckon people??? Game changer or what 🤔 mmmmmm 👍🏻 or 👎🏻

A post shared by Cory Jane (@coryjane1080) on Jun 14, 2017 at 2:17am PDT


Best photobomb
Awarded to: Sonny Bill Williams' daughter

It was an extra-special year for New Zealand’s Super Rugby teams, in that they all had a chance to play the visiting British and Irish Lions, too.

And following the Blues' famous victory over the tourists, an opportunity for the season's cutest photobomb presented itself.

Former England international Will Greenwood excitedly shared this snap with Blues star Sonny Bill Williams on Twitter after the match. Referring to his oldest daughter, Imaan, also seen in the photo, Williams tweeted back: "Please excuse the photo bomber lol. Good to see you my man."



Best travel shot
Awarded to: Liam Messam

With the Super Rugby competition spanning several nations, our top tier rugby players certainly rack up plenty of travel.

And in between training, gym sessions and game days, there's usually a bit of time to check out the local sights – although it has taken the Chiefs' Liam Messam 15 years of visiting South Africa to get around to actually visiting Cape Town's famous Table Mountain.

Judging by Messam's photos, the landmark was worth the wait.

And we're sure the team’s coaching staff had zero heart palpitations after seeing several members of the squad perched precariously on this cliffside.


A post shared by Liam Messam (@liammessam) on Jul 21, 2017 at 10:56am PDT


Sweetest family snap
Awarded to: The Savea family and the Williams family

It's a tie!

We simply couldn't choose between Sonny Bill Williams and his wife Alana posing with their little brood before the Blues’ end-of-season celebrations last week, and the Savea brothers, Ardie and Julian, posing with their parents after Julian's 100th game for the Hurricanes.

So we present you with both to enjoy!

Until next year, all.

(Oh, and go Crusaders.)