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All Black TJ Perenara praised for World Rugby awards speech

NZ Herald

All Blacks halfback TJ Perenara has been praised for using his speech for winning try of the year at the World Rugby awards to praise the tournament winning Springboks.

Perenara took out the try of the year award for his stunning finish in the All Blacks’ pool play win over Namibia last month.

Asked how proud he was to win the award, Perenara ignored the question and instead used the chance to heap praise on South Africa.

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“Cheers mate, thanks for that. I just want to take this moment to congratulate South Africa. Siya [Kolisi] and your guys’ accomplishment. What you guys have done is truly inspiring. I congratulate all the other winners and your awards but what you guys have done inspired a nation, so good s***,” Perenara said to a big applause from the audience.

He was presented the award by former All Blacks and Hurricanes teammate Conrad Smith

A day after winning the Rugby World Cup, South Africa won the trifecta of team, coach and men’s player of the year.

England centre Emily Scarratt, back playing 15s after two years of sevens, was the women’s player of the year.

Flanker Pieter-Steph du Toit received the men’s award after starting and starring in nine of the Springboks’ 11 tests this year, including the Rugby World Cup final win against England in Yokohama.

Du Toit became the first South African to win the award since 2007, when Bryan Habana earned it in the same year the Springboks last won the World Cup.

Du Toit was nominated with teammate Cheslin Kolbe, Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones, New Zealand flanker Ardie Savea, England flanker Tom Curry and United States hooker Joe Taufete’e.

Rassie Erasmus was named top coach after leading his team of the year South Africa to a record-tying third World Cup crown after a pool defeat to the All Blacks, and a first Rugby Championship in 10 years.

France flyhalf Romain Ntamack, who made his debut at center in the Six Nations in February, was the breakthrough player of the year ahead of England wing Joe Cokanasiga and South Africa scrumhalf Herschel Jantjies.

The sevens players of the year were Jerry Tuwai of Fiji and Ruby Tui of New Zealand, and the try of the year was TJ Perenara’s spectacular breakout and finish in New Zealand’s win against Namibia in the World Cup.

This article first appeared on nzherald.co.nz and as republished with permission.

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All Black TJ Perenara praised for World Rugby awards speech