September 14, 2021
Wallabies and Brumbies forward Rob Valetini has scooped the Brett Robinson Players’ Player of the Year award.
Valetini, who has links to Fiji has had a dominant 2021 campaign, starting in every game for the club with the 23-year-old going on to lock down a spot in the Wallabies back-row.
He has become the second youngest Wallaby to win the award behind George Smith and was also named Member's Choice Player of the Year.
"It's an honour to receive this award and join some of the greats who have held it before," he said in a statement.
"I had some honest conversations with the coaches before this season and I went into it wanting to do my best for the team and perform more consistently.”
“Playing a team sport is never about individual awards but to be recognised by my teammates and our members is extremely special.”
“The challenge now is to continue to deliver on and off the field and I’m already really excited about being involved in the Super Rugby Pacific competition next year.”
Wallaby Tom Banks was named Back of the Year for the second time in his career whilst Caderyn Neville was named Forward of the Year.
Meanwhile, Lachie Lonergan was awarded Shawn Mackay Young Talent Award after his breakout 2021 campaign which included his maiden Wallabies cap in July.
Darcy Swain was honoured with the Christian Lealiifano Spirit of the Brumbies award for his impact both on and off the field whilst emerging lock Tom Hooper was named as both the Graham Gordan Memorial Trophy for the ACT Best and Fairest U20's Player and the Brumbies’ Canberra Milk Community Engagement award.
"Rob joined us as a teenager out of high school and this year we got to see a glimpse of just how good he can be.”
“His application to improving every day on and off the field has been pleasing to see and his hard work in preseason and training showed through on game day.”
"He's a tremendous talent, still a young man and after a few years of bad luck with injuries, we're all just really happy for Rob to join a list of quality players who have won this award," coach Dan McKellar said.
By Romeka Romena