Friday, February 23, 2024
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Savea crowned World 15s Player of the Year

New Zealand number eight Ardie Savea has been crowned World Rugby Men’s 15s Player of the Year in partnership with Mastercard, receiving the prestigious accolade at a star-studded World Rugby Awards 2023 at the Opéra Garnier in Paris today.

Just hours after South Africa defeated Savea’s All Blacks to lift the Webb Ellis Cup for an historic fourth time at Stade de France, the victorious team reunited to open the spectacular 90-minute show.

A second memorable rugby showcase in as many nights brought honours for some of the players and coaches who have shone at Rugby World Cup 2023, alongside others who have made an impact over the past 12 months or the course of distinguished careers.

Savea said: “It’s very special. Very blessed and grateful to be up here. I guess for an individual to stand out it’s based on the foundation of the team. A massive shout-out to Foz (Ian Foster), skip (captain, Sam Cane) and my brothers this year and the last couple of years, and the journey we’ve been through.

“I wouldn’t say I’m in the same category as those guys (previous winners of the award from New Zealand) – they’re legends, but I just try and go out there, fulfil the black jersey and give my best. That’s all I can do and I have 14 other brothers next to me doing the same thing.

“What this team has been through not only this year but the past couple of years under Foz has been very special and we would have loved the fairy tale ending last night. It wasn’t meant to be but it’s a special group of men and I’m so blessed to be able to represent the All Blacks.”

Five Rugby World Cup legends were also inducted into the World Rugby Hall of Fame during the ceremony in Dan Carter (New Zealand), Thierry Dusautoir (France), George Smith (Australia), Juan Martín Hernández (Argentina) and Bryan Habana (South Africa).

Andy Farrell was named World Rugby Coach of the Year, recognising his achievement in leading Ireland’s to a Six Nations Grand Slam and top spot in the World Rugby Men’s Rankings powered by Capgemini for 15 months.

Meanwhile, New Zealand winger Mark Tele’a was named the World Rugby Men’s 15s Breakthrough Player of the Year in partnership with Tudor.

Reginald Chandar
Reginald Chandar
Head of News & Sports | news@fijilive.com

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