The World Cup-winning Black Ferns have scooped most of the major prizes at the annual New Zealand Rugby awards.
As expected, the national women’s side were named the 2022 team of the year when the winners were announced on Thursday.
The Black Ferns clinched their sixth World Cup title, and first in New Zealand, last month with a thrilling victory over tournament favourites England in the final.
Individually, the team’s big winner was co-captain Ruahei Demant.
The New Zealand first five-eighth won three awards – the Kelvin R Tremain Memorial player of the year, Tom French Māori player of the year and Black Ferns player of the year.
Wayne Smith took out coach of the year, while the team’s length-of-the-field effort in the World Cup final – finished off by Stacey Fluhler – was named try of the year.
“We have seen outstanding performances on the rugby field in 2022, none more memorable than the Black Ferns Rugby World Cup winning performance in front of a sold out Eden Park,” NZR chief executive Mark Robinson said in a release confirming the winners.
“A record-breaking milestone for women’s rugby internationally.
“It’s fitting that the Black Ferns were named as our Team of the Year and that their co-captain Ruahei Demant has been deservedly recognised for her outstanding contribution to her team, to Māori rugby and to the game in Aotearoa.
“Ruahei and the Black Ferns team have epitomised the values of our game in 2022.”
Standout loose forward Ardie Savea won the All Blacks player of the year prize.
The women’s sevens player of the year went to Michaela Blyde, while the men’s sevens award was won by Ngarohi McGarvey-Black.
Also recognised was Dr Deb Robinson, who was awarded the Steinlager Salver for an outstanding contribution to rugby in New Zealand.
Robinson has been the team doctor for Canterbury, the Crusaders, the Black Fern Sevens, the All Blacks and the Black Ferns and recently joined the World Rugby Council as New Zealand Rugby’s first female representative.
2022 NZ Rugby Awards:
- Kelvin R Tremain Memorial Player of the Year: Ruahei Demant (Auckland)
- Team of the Year: Black Ferns
- Coach of the Year: Wayne Smith (Black Ferns)
- Black Ferns Player of the Year: Ruahei Demant
- All Blacks Player of the Year: Ardie Savea
- Tom French Memorial Māori Player of the Year: Ruahei Demant (Tē Whānau ā Apanui / Te Whakatōhea / Ngāti Awa)
- Richard Crawshaw Memorial All Blacks Sevens Player of the Year: Ngarohi McGarvey-Black
- Black Ferns Sevens Player of the Year: Michaela Blyde
- Super Rugby Pacific Player of the Year: Will Jordan (Crusaders)
- Super Rugby Aupiki Player of the Year: Luka Connor (Chiefs Manawa)
- Try of the Year: Stacey Fluhler (Black Ferns v England)
- Duane Monkley Medal: Bryn Gatland (North Harbour)
- Fiao’o Faamausili Medal: Maia Joseph (Otago)
- National Men’s Team of the Year: Wellington
- National Women’s Team of the Year: Canterbury
- National Men’s Coach of the Year Scott Robertson (Crusaders)
- National Women’s Coach of the Year: Blair Baxter (Canterbury)
- New Zealand Rugby Age Grade Player of the Year: Peter Lakai (Wellington)
- Ian Kirkpatrick Medal: Sam Parkes (Ngāti Porou East Coast)
- Steinlager Salver (Outstanding contribution to New Zealand Rugby): Dr Deb Robinson
- New Zealand Rugby Referee of the Year: Ben O’Keeffe (Auckland)
- Charles Monro Rugby Volunteer of the Year: Cathy Charles (Otago)
Story Credit: rnz.co.nz