New Zealand dominates World Rugby Awards

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Portia Woodman and Beauden Barrett win 2017 World Rugby Awards. Photo: World Rugby

New Zealand has dominated the World Rugby Awards in Monaco.

The Black Ferns were named team of the year, Beauden Barrett men’s player of the year and Portia Woodman women’s player of the year.

Portia Woodman and Beauden Barrett win 2017 World Rugby Awards. Photo: World Rugby
His win continued New Zealand’s dominance since 2012, when Dan Carter took the award. Kieran Read won in 2013 before Brodie Retallick the following year and Carter again in 2015.

Rieko Ioane was named the breakthrough player and Michaela Blyde won the women’s seven’s player award.

Rieko Ioane of New Zealand poses with the World Rugby Breakthrough Player of the Year Award 2017 Photo: 2017 World Rugby

The former All Blacks captain Richie McCaw received one of two special merit awards handed out.

The England mentor Eddie Jones won coach of the year ahead of Steve Hansen.

Michaela Blyde of New Zealand poses with the World Rugby Women’s Sevens Player of the Year Award 2017 Photo: 2017 World Rugby

Barrett won player of the year for the second time ahead of team-mate Ioane, Owen Farrell (England and British and Irish Lions), Israel Folau (Australia) and Maro Itoje (England and Lions).

Barrett said: “I’m very proud and surprised. I wanted to be better than last year and I still think I have plenty more to go. The Lions series put us under the most pressure I have probably felt in a black jersey and that’s a credit to the Lions. We learnt a lot from that series, particularly taking that into the World Cup. When I hang the boots up, that’s when I can look back and be really proud of this. I’ve got to thank my team. I am just one player amongst a great team.”

Portia Woodman, Michaela Blyde, Kelly Brazier and Ruby Tui, World Rugby Awards 2017. Photo: 2017 World Rugby

Woodman won the women’s award ahead of team-mate Kelly Brazier, Romane Menager (France), Safi N’Diaye (France) and Lydia Thompson (England).

Woodman said: “Obviously just winning the team of the year award shows just how good our team is, and they make me look good; they do all the work and I am out there on the sideline just waiting for the ball. My mum wasn’t a big fan of me playing rugby, but I think she was going to support me no matter what and, without them (my parents), I obviously wouldn’t be where I am because they pushed me to do everything I can to the best of my ability.”