After receiving the news from HSBC ambassador Brian O’Driscoll that he had won the World Rugby Men’s Sevens Player of the Year 2021 award in association with HSBC, Marcos Moneta was embraced by his team-mates.

While Moneta had shown glimpses of his potential on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, it was at the Tokyo Olympics that the then-teenager properly announced his name to the watching world.

Moneta scored a brace in the amazing five-man win over South Africa and finished the tournament as top try-scorer with six, to help Los Pumas Sevens to the bronze medal.

An emotionally overwhelmed Moneta told World Rugby Hall of Fame inductee O’Driscoll: “It’s amazing, a big surprise and I am very happy. Also my team-mates are very happy and they are a great part of this because we have had a great year as a team and it is great to have this recognition.

“The Olympic Games was a great moment, a great tournament and I am very happy because of the bronze medal and personally because of how I played. But as I mentioned before, the staff, the players and all the other players who didn’t go to Tokyo but are in the pathway too are a big part of this.”

Argentina have continued where they left off in Tokyo with back-to-back bronze medals in the opening two rounds of HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2022 in Dubai.

Moneta missed the first tournament but was back to business in the second, scoring four tries and reminding everyone of why he was nominated alongside greats of the game such as New Zealand co-captain Scott Curry and deadly Fijian duo, Napolioni Bolaca and Jiuta Wainiqolo.

The Series resumes on 21-23 January in Malaga and has seven more rounds to run before attention for Argentina turns to Rugby World Cup Sevens 2022.

“I am only thinking of next year (2022) which finishes with the Rugby Sevens World Cup in South Africa. So I am looking to have a great season with Los Pumas Sevens, to play in some great tournaments and to finish it with a great World Cup.”

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