Rugby Union

Navy rugby star Sam Matavesi receives Platinum Jubilee Medal in surprise ceremony

Royal Navy rugby union star Sam Matavesi has received the Queen's Platinum Jubilee Medal in a surprise ceremony at his Northampton Saints rugby club.

The British-born Fijian international received the medal in front of his Northampton Saints teammates, where Commodore Peter Coulson was on hand to do the honours. 

Speaking at the ceremony, Cdre Coulson said that the Royal Navy player is "an example to us all".

He said: "You serve your countries in several ways, both on the pitch and in uniform.

"And on the pitch, of course, whether it is in the black and white of Fiji, or the black, green and gold of Saints, you are an example to us all in the services."

Matavesi, who is best positioned as a hooker, made his international debut for Fiji in 2013. He played for Fiji at the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan and played several fixtures for the Royal Navy.

He joined Northampton Saints in the Premiership Rugby in 2019 having previously played for Cornish Pirates, Plymouth Albion RFC and Racing Metro in France.

In 2019 he was named Royal Navy Sportsman of the Year and he received the same honour at the UKAF Sports Awards.

The Queen's Platinum Jubilee Medal, made to commemorate Queen Elizabeth II's 70 years on the throne, is awarded to serving members of the Armed Forces who had completed five full calendar years of service on 6 February 2022.