Wallabies and Waratahs fullback Israel Folau has been handed the ultimate honour in Australian rugby after being named the John Eales Medallist for 2014.
At Australian rugby’s night of nights, the ARU celebrated and acknowledged the men and women in the Australian rugby community – fans, players, coaches, match officials and administrators – for their dedication, commitment and outstanding performance.
The 2014 ceremony was the first time performances in Super Rugby competition were incorporated into the event, while it was the first opportunity to recognise the best performers from the inaugural National Rugby Championship.
The John Eales Medallist is voted for by Wallabies players on a 3-2-1 basis after each Test. The winner is the player that has accumulated the most points over the past 12 months from the 2013 Spring Tour to the third Bledisloe Cup Test against New Zealand earlier this month.
Five key members of the Springbok squad in 2013 will go head-to-head for the annual SA Rugby Player of the Year Award, while the Steval Pumas have been rewarded for their great form this season with nominations in four categories.
Springbok captain Jean de Villiers, the winner in 2008 who led South Africa to 10 victories in 12 Tests in 2013, will go up against Bismarck du Plessis, Eben Etzebeth, Willie le Roux and Duane Vermeulen for the most prestigious individual award in South African rugby.
All Blacks and Crusaders vice captain Kieran Read has been named the International Rugby Board’s Player of the Year for 2013.
New Zealand rugby claimed a triple scoop on the awards as the All Blacks were also named team of the year while coach of the year went to Steve Hansen.
Back-to-back Super Rugby Champions the Chiefs, NPC champions Canterbury and the Rugby Championship-winning All Blacks dominate this year’s annual celebration of the best of New Zealand.
The 2013 awards will be held in Auckland on Thursday, December 5.
Rugby fans can start voting for their own International Player of the Year and World XV of the Year following the release of a 45-strong shortlist of contenders.
Part of the inaugural Ultimate Rugby IRPA Awards, the Fans’ Player of the Year, and World XV of the Year will be decided by votes cast on Ultimate Rugby’s mobile app, and announced in conjunction with other category winners on November 26.
Not only were WP Rugby’s professional players awarded individual trophies based on their performances throughout the 2013 season, but the Western Province Rugby Football Union also recognised all club, junior, female and referees’ performances within the union this past year.
The event was well attended on the night with the DHL WP Absa Currie Cup team present – ahead of this weekend’s semifinal against the Golden Lions – along with other key sponsors, players (seniors, juniors and club players), administrators and the local rugby media.
The RaboDirect Pro12 ‘dream team’ for the season 2011/2012 was announced last week. There is a fair mix of representation of players from Irish, Welsh and Scottish clubs with no Italian clubs having any players in the team. On Sunday evening, in Cardiff, various awards for this season were handed out with the accolade for player of the season going to Edinburgh try scoring machine Tim Visser.
New Zealand boss Jock Hobbs’ battle with cancer has taken a turn for the worse and he has stepped away from rugby to start a new, more aggressive, course of treatment.
It was announced on Friday that Hobbs has stepped down as chairman of both the New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) and Rugby New Zealand 2011 Ltd (RNZ 2011) to focus on his health.