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SA scoop top 3 gongs

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South Africa scoop top three gongs at World Rugby awards

By PA Authors
By Online Editors

South Africa’s Pieter-Steph du Toit and England’s Emily Scarratt have been named World Rugby Men’s and Women’s 15s Player of the Year 2019 respectively at the World Rugby Awards in Tokyo, Japan, on Sunday.

New world champions South Africa enjoyed a memorable night, landing three top awards.

Flanker Pieter-Steph Du Toit won the men’s world player of the year title, becoming the third Springbok to land the award after Schalk Burger and Bryan Habana.

Du Toit has been in outstanding form all year, culminating in a memorable display during Saturday’s World Cup final when South Africa beat England 32-12.

The other nominations were Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones, England flanker Tom Curry, Springboks wing Cheslin Kolbe, New Zealand flanker Ardie Savea and USA forward Joe Taufete’e.

England centre Emily Scarratt has been crowned women’s world player of the year.

The 29-year-old emulated former England colleagues like Maggie Alphonsi and Sarah Hunter in winning the award.

She received it at World Rugby’s annual awards night in Tokyo, winning from a shortlist that also included fellow England internationals Katy Daley-McLean and Sarah Bern, New Zealand’s Kendra Cocksedge and France’s Pauline Bourdon.

“It’s mad,” Scarratt said. “At the start of the season, I was still playing sevens, so I have come back to 15s and got my teeth back into it.

“There are some massively exciting times ahead, a big two years.

“There is lots of rugby to play, and we want to use the next two years as best we can.

“We want to go to New Zealand (for the World Cup) in 2021 and come away with a gold medal.”

A keenly-contested coach of the year award went to Rassie Erasmus, who masterminded the World Cup triumph, with his Springboks side named team of the year.

Erasmus prevailed in a category that saw England’s Eddie Jones, Wales boss Warren Gatland, Japan head coach Jamie Joseph and New Zealand’s Steve Hansen nominated.

England, Wales, Japan and New Zealand also received nominations in the team category, but the Springboks’ latest triumph was recognised as captain Siya Kolisi received the award from World Rugby vice-chairman Agustin Pichot.

England wing Joe Cokanasiga missed out on the breakthrough player title.

The Bath speedster was among three nominations for the award, which was won by France international Romain Ntamack.

But there was English success in the referee category, which was won by Wayne Barnes.

Former Ireland number eight Jamie Heaslip, who won 95 caps for his country and retired last year, received the International Rugby Players’ special merit award.

And try of the year went to New Zealand scrum-half TJ Perenara following a stunning score in the World Cup pool game against Namibia.

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South Africa scoop top three gongs at World Rugby awards