IRB honours fitting reward for All Blacks

Getty Images     05 Dec 2012     Getty Images

The All Blacks were named IRB Team of the Year for the sixth time, Steve Hansen, IRB Coach of the Year and Dan Carter, IRB Player of the Year for the second time.

"These are richly deserved honours which recognise the great success the team has enjoyed this past year," said Eagle. "In particular, these awards underline how well the All Blacks have responded to the challenge of being World Champions.

"Without a doubt the team has done the country proud during a year where they secured a clean sweep against Ireland in the Steinlager Series, won the inaugural Investec Rugby Championship and retained the Bledisloe Cup.

"As the team returns from the Air New Zealand European Tour, they do so knowing they delivered on and off the field to their fans around the world, having played an exciting brand of rugby and retained a winning record that remains the envy of their rivals.

"This international recognition shows the game is in good heart in this country and we can look forward to 2013 to continue our proud record of success at all levels of the game."