All Blacks skipper Richie McCaw has been named the Kelvin R Tremain Memorial Player of the Year in New Zealand’s annual rugby awards.
The ceremony also saw accolades for All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen, and the world champion All Blacks.
McCaw’s consistently outstanding performance, relentless workrate and inspiring leadership on and off the field, have seen him take the title for the fourth time in the 18-year history of the award. McCaw, 31, was also named the Kelvin Tremain Memorial Player of the Year in 2003, 2006 and 2009.
In a year in which he anointed several new All Blacks and led a convincing international campaign, head coach Hansen picked up his first Coach of the Year Award, seeing out challenges from Chiefs Coach Dave Rennie and All Blacks Sevens maestro Gordon Tietjens.
The All Blacks’ continued dominance through the international season which saw them take a clean sweep of the June Tests, retain the Bledisloe Cup and win the Rugby Championship and a three from four record on the End of Year Tour resulted in them winning the Team of the Year award. They edged out Super Rugby Champions, the Chiefs and five-in-a-row ITM Cup winners, Canterbury.
Auckland loose forward Rawinia Everitt has been rewarded for a solid season both in the Women’s Provincial Championship and in the black jersey with the Black Ferns, as she was named the NZRU Women’s Player of the Year.
All Blacks and Chiefs loose forward Liam Messam was named the Tom French Memorial Maori Player of the Year, while Manawatu Turbos and New Zealand U20 emerging talent Jason Emery won the NZRU Age Grade Player of the Year.
This year’s IRB Sevens Player of the Year Tomasi Cama has added the NZRU Sevens Player of the Year to his bow, while professional-player-turned-professional-referee Glen Jackson was named the NZRU Referee of the Year.
An inspiring season from Hurricanes captain and centre Conrad Smith saw him pick up the Super Rugby Player of the Year award, while Canterbury’s Robbie Fruean picked up the ITM Cup Player of the Year award for the second time, having won it in 2010. Wanganui’s Peter Rowe was named the Heartland Player of the Year.
Special presentations of greenstone mere were made to All Blacks Sevens captain DJ Forbes, and All Blacks Sevens veterans Lote Raikabula and Sevens Player of the Year Tomasi Cama, to mark 50 tournaments each. A mere was also presented to All Blacks assistant manager Gilbert Enoka in recognition of his assisting the team in 150 Tests.