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Results are in at the World Rugby Awards

By Sam Smith
Beauden Barrett and Rieko Ioane celebrate a try for the latter

The results are in from the World Rugby Awards and it’s no surprise to see New Zealand dominant in Team and Player of the Year categories. The only real surprise might be that Steve Hansen was pipped by Eddie Jones for Coach of the Year.

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And the winner is…

World Rugby Men’s Player of the Year: Beauden Barrett (New Zealand)
World Rugby Women’s Player of the Year: Portia Woodman (New Zealand)
Team of the year – Black Ferns (New Zealand)
Coach of the Year – Eddie Jones (England)
World Rugby Referee Award – Joy Neville (Ireland)
IRPA Try of the Year – Joaquin Tuculet (Argentina)
World Rugby Breakthrough Player of the Year – Rieko Ioane (New Zealand)
World Rugby’s Men’s 7s Player of the Year – Perry Baker (USA)
World Rugby’s Women’s 7s Player of the Year – Michaela Blyde (New Zealand)
IRPA Special Merit – Rachael Burford and Richie McCaw
Award for Character – Eduardo “Coco” Oderigo
Vernon Pugh Awards for Distinguished Service – Marcel Martin

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T
Turlough 5 hours ago
Jean de Villiers' three word response to 'best in the world' debate

This ‘raging’ debate is only happenning in media circles and has never been a topic in Ireland (although SA media are interested). It makes the media companies money I guess. SA are RWC champions and #1 ranked team although Ireland are back within a point there. The facts point to SA. For a lot of 2021 France beat ALL their rivals and Ireland similar in 2022-2023. It is not wrong to say that on such form either can be deemed to be the current best team if they have beaten all their rivals and ranked #1. The ‘have to have won a world cup’ stipulation is nonsense. The world cup draw and scheduling has been tailored to the traditional big teams since the start. The scheduling also which sees the big teams sheltered from playing a hard pool match the week before has also been a constant. It is extraordinary that for example France have made so many finals. Ireland who were realistically only contenders in 2023 were in a Pool with two other top 5 teams and had to play one of them 7 days before a quarter final against France or New Zealand. Always going to be a coin toss. Scotland’s situation was worse. New Zealand had great chances in 1995, 1999, 2007 but they could not win a tight RWC match. The first tight match they ever won was versus France in the 2011 final, literally they lost every other tight match before that. Some of those NZ teams around that era were #1 surely?

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