All Blacks and Crusaders first five-eighths Daniel Carter has been named New Zealand rugby’s Player of the Year for the second year in a row, becoming the first player to win the prestigious Kelvin R Tremain Memorial Trophy twice.
23-year-old Carter received the top honour at New Zealand rugby’s annual showcase awards event, the Steinlager Rugby Awards, held at Auckland’s Aotea Centre tonight (New Zealand time).
Carter, who was also named the IRB Player of the Year last year, scored 33 points in the Second Test against the British & Irish Lions, the most points ever scored against the Lions in a single Test, and the third-most by an All Black in any Test match. His 26 points against Wales on the Grand Slam tour is the most scored by an All Black in a Test against Wales.
Carter’s All Blacks and Crusaders team mate Rico Gear was the other big winner on the night, being named both the Rebel Sport Super 12 Player of the Year and the Tom French Memorial Maori Player of the Year.
The Steinlager Salver, awarded to people who have made an outstanding contribution to the game of rugby, was presented to respected administrator Richie Guy.
Guy played 91 matches for North Auckland and nine matches for the All Blacks before moving into administration. He joined the then New Zealand Rugby Union Council in 1984, was manager of the All Blacks team which won the inaugural Rugby World Cup in 1987 and was NZRU Chairman from 1995 to 1997.
The All Blacks, who last year achieved the rare Grand Slam, beat the British & Irish Lions convincingly, retained the Bledisloe Cup and won the Philips Tri Nations, were named as adidas Team of the Year with All Blacks Coach Graham Henry named Coach of the Year.
In the Air New Zealand NPC categories, Otago halfback Chris Smylie took the First Division prize, with Hawke’s Bay prop Clint Newland winning the Second Division Player of the Year title, the second year in a row he had been nominated for the award. The winner of the Air New Zealand NPC Division Three Player of the Year award was Wairarapa Bush centre Simanu Simanu.
In other awards announced tonight, Isaia Toeava, who starred in last year’s IRB Under 19 World Championship before touring with the All Blacks on their end of year tour, followed up his 2005 IRB Age Grade Player of the Year award winning the NZRU Age Grade Player of the Year award.
Canterbury and Black Ferns lock Melissa Ruscoe was named Women’s Player of the Year and Amasio Valence was named Sevens Player of the Year, receiving the Richard Crawshaw Memorial Trophy.
The NZRU Referee of the Year award was won by Paul Honiss, New Zealand’s most experienced current referee. A member of the IRB A panel, Honiss is overseas on Six Nations duties.
The New Zealand rugby Volunteer of the Year award, which honours the passionate and hard-working volunteers who work tirelessly in the junior and amateur game, was won by junior rugby administrator Daphne Boden from Hawke’s Bay’s Clive Rugby Club.
The judges for the 2005 Steinlager Rugby Awards were All Blacks selector Sir Brian Lochore, former All Blacks manager John Sturgeon, former All Blacks captain and past NZRU president Tane Norton and veteran rugby journalist and author Bob Howitt.
The full list of winners at the 2005 Steinlager Awards is:
NZRU Age Grade Player of the Year
Women’s Player of the Year
Melissa Ruscoe (Canterbury)
New Zealand Rugby Volunteer of the Year
Daphne Boden (Hawke’s Bay)
Richard Crawshaw Memorial Sevens Player of the Year
Air New Zealand NPC Division Three Player of the Year
Simanu Simanu (Wairarapa Bush)
Air New Zealand NPC Division Two Player of the Year
Clint Newland (Hawke’s Bay)
Air New Zealand NPC Division One Player of the Year
Chris Smylie (Otago)
Rebel Sport Super 12 Player of the Year
Rico Gear (Crusaders)
adidas Team of the Year
NZRU Referee of the Year
Tom French Memorial Maori Player of the Year
New Zealand Rugby Coach of the Year
Graham Henry (All Blacks)
Steinlager Salver for Outstanding Contribution to New Zealand Rugby
Kelvin R. Tremain Memorial Player of the Year
Daniel Carter (Canterbury/Crusaders/All Blacks)
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