Black Ferns star Ruby Tui now has another gold medal around her neck after giving hers away during the Rugby World Cup final at Eden Park.
Tui was presented another gold medal by former Black Ferns captain and recent Rugby Hall of Fame inductee Fiao’o Fa’amausili at the World Rugby Awards in Monaco.
The 30-year-old gave away her medal to a young fan named Lucia who has recently recovered from leukaemia.
She said she was surprised people found out about her act of kindness as it was just a “moment with my mate”. The initial story was broken by ESPN.
“She’d just been through a pretty hard battle with her family. I met her dad. It was super inspiring,” she told the World Rugby Awards crowd.
In return Lucia gifted Tui a bead, which children receive during treatments.
“She actually gave me her biggest bead that represents bravery. So this is my gold medal now, and I wouldn’t have it any other way,” Tui said.
Tui was named women’s breakthrough 15s player of the year, co-captain Ruahei Demant women’s 15s player of the year, Wayne Smith coach of the year and former Black Ferns and New Zealand Rugby board co-chair Dr Farah Palmer was awarded the Vernon Pugh Award for Distinguished Service.
Tui, Demant, Theresa Fitzpatrick and Portia Woodman were named in the women’s Dream Team.
Other Black Ferns finalists included Maiakawanakaulani Roos for breakthrough 15s player of the year, Sylvia Brunt for women’s try of the year and Woodman for women’s 15s player of the year.
It’s the second major award for Tui, who won women’s sevens player of the year in 2019.
She said it was “so cool” to receive her replacement World Cup medal from “absolute inspiration” Fa’amausili.
“685 baby!” she said, referencing the Samoa area code, something many Toa Samoa fans have been getting tattooed in the wake of their side’s success at the Rugby League World Cup.
“I’m so happy right now. That was a really cool surprise. Thank you so much.”
Since the Rugby World Cup win, Tui’s autobiography Straight Up is the hottest book in New Zealand, selling out at many of the busiest bookstores in the country.
This story first appeared on [ https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/women-in-sport/300744687/black-ferns-star-ruby-tui-receives-new-rugby-world-cup-gold-medal Stuff].