King Carter reigns supreme

Mon, 03 Dec 2012 15:46
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All Black flyhalf Dan Carter was named the International Rugby Board Player of the Year at the IRB Awards in London on Monday.

All Black flyhalf Dan Carter was named the International Rugby Board (IRB) Player of the Year at the IRB Awards in London on Monday.

Carter beat out captain Richie McCaw, France flyhalf Frederic Michalak and England No.10 Owen Farrell for the prestigious award.

Carter joins McCaw as the only multiple winner of the individual accolade, having first won the IRB honour in 2005. McCaw was in line to win the award for a fourth time after being voted as the world’s leading player in 2006, 2009 and 2010.

The leading point-scorer in Test rugby, Carter boasts a CV with every major honour on it from Super Rugby success with the Crusaders to World Cup glory, even if a groin injury kept him sidelined for much of last year’s success.

The finest flyhalf of his generation, though, is still hungry for more and remains as important to the All Blacks’ cause as McCaw. Carter is the complete package and, even in a season again disrupted by injury, has been the catalyst for many a New Zealand victory in 2012, even slotting over a rare drop goal at the death to break Irish hearts in Christchurch.

New Zealand coach Steve Hansen was named IRB Coach of the Year in his first year at the helm while his world champion All Blacks walked away with the IRB Team of the Year award after retaining the Bledisloe Cup and winning the inaugural Rugby Championship.

"It is very humbling to be recognised, but the reality is that it's not just me, it's about a whole group of people who've worked really hard," Hansen said.

"The players have done particularly well and the rest of the coaching and management group have been outstanding.

"Without those people doing their bit then you can't do it as a coach. The reward really is a reflection on everyone, rather than just me."

Hansen also paid tribute to his star flyhalf and talismanic captain.

"Dan brings a lot of experience, cool headedness and he can play a kicking game, a running game and he's a world-class player," Hansen said.

"This is the second time he's won it and there is only one other person who's done that and that's the guy he just headed off [McCaw].

"Both of them are world-class players and both fall into that category of great and to have them both playing in the same team at the same time has been a massive advantage for New Zealand."

IRB chairman Bernard Lapasset presented McCaw with the team award and the players' award on Carter's behalf, while IRB vice-chairman Oregan Hoskins presented Hansen with the coach award.

“The prestigious IRB Player, Coach and Team of the Year awards fittingly bring the curtain down on the international rugby year and what a year it has been.  Argentina's entry into The Rugby Championship, a return to traditional tours in June and an expanded Tier Two competition calendar in November,” said Lapasset.

“New Zealand have again been the standout team of the year with their 20-match unbeaten run and thoroughly deserve the IRB Team of the Year award along with Steve Hansen as IRB Coach of the Year for his feats in keeping a Rugby World Cup-winning team winning.”

“Dan Carter has bounced back from the disappointment of missing the majority of the World Cup through injury to show what a truly magnificent player he is and a wonderful ambassador for our sport. Winning this award for the second time reflects his sheer talent and ability.”

The IRB Player of the Year award is selected by the IRB Awards independent panel of judges, comprising former internationals with more than 500 Test caps between them.

Will Greenwood, Gavin Hastings, Raphaël Ibanez, Francois Pienaar, Agustín Pichot, Scott Quinnell, Tana Umaga, Paul Wallace and convenor John Eales watched more than 100 hours of Test action, awarding points to the three players they thought stood out in each match.

Previous winners of the IRB Player of the Year award:
2011 – Thierry Dusautoir (France)
2010 – Richie McCaw (New Zealand)
2009 – Richie McCaw (New Zealand)
2008 – Shane Williams (Wales)
2007 – Bryan Habana (South Africa)
2006 – Richie McCaw (New Zealand)
2005 – Dan Carter (New Zealand)
2004 – Schalk Burger (South Africa)
2003 – Jonny Wilkinson (England)
2002 – Fabien Galthié (France)
2001 – Keith Wood (Ireland)

Previous winners of the IRB Team of the Year award:
2011 – New Zealand
2010 – New Zealand
2009 – South Africa
2008 – New Zealand
2007 – South Africa
2006 – New Zealand
2005 – New Zealand
2004 – South Africa
2003 - England
2002 - France
2001 – Australia

Previous winners of the IRB Coach of the Year award:
2011 - Graham Henry (New Zealand)
2010 - Graham Henry (New Zealand)
2009 – Declan Kidney (Ireland)
2008 – Graham Henry (New Zealand)
2007 – Jake White (South Africa)
2006 – Graham Henry (New Zealand)
2005 – Graham Henry (New Zealand)
2004 – Jake White (South Africa)
2003 - Clive Woodward (England)
2002 - Bernard Laporte (France)
2001 - Rod Macqueen (Australia