Fatialofa shares RPA bravery award

Former Warriors lock Michael Fatialofa is joint winner of the Rugby Players Association Blyth Spirit Award.

The award, in association with Towergate Insurance, recognises bravery in the face of adversity and was shared by Fatialofa with Tom Smith, the former Scotland and Northampton Saints prop, who is battling colorectal cancer.

Fatialofa suffered serious spinal injuries in the Gallagher Premiership match against Saracens at Allianz Park in January.

He spent a month in the intensive care unit of St Mary’s Hospital in London and was then transferred to a private hospital in Buckinghamshire.

Despite an initial pessimistic prognosis, Fatialofa showed enormous courage and determination to walk unaided again.

He continued his rehabilitation at Sixways under the supervision of Warriors Head of Medical Ryan Kehoe between July and September.

“The way Fats has been through this entire situation has been nothing short of outstanding,” said Ethan Waller, Warriors’ RPA representative.

“He’s done everything with a smile on his face and he continues to smash down every single obstacle in his way. I don’t think there’s anyone that’s been more deserving of this award and I’m absolutely delighted to see it go to him.”

This year’s RPA Awards were hosted virtually for the first time on a podcast because of COVID-19 social distancing measures.