The two stars were crowned at an awards gala in Monaco


Josh van der Flier and Ruahei Demant named players of the year

Ireland’s Josh van der Flier and Black Ferns skipper Ruahei Demant have been named World Rugby’s player of the year in their respective categories at their end of year awards.

In the flashy event in Monaco, the back-rower and fly-half won the big ones, as players of the year after standout seasons. But there were plenty of other awards awarded on the night too.

Earlier in the evening, Italy men’s star Ange Capuozzo, and Rugby World Cup-winning superstar Ruby Tui of the Black Ferns, won the two ‘Breakthrough player of the year’ awards, for their superb 2022s.

Another Kiwi winner was the coach of the year, with Wayne Smith (Black Ferns head coach) recognised for turning New Zealand’s women’s side around in time to win the recent Rugby World Cup on home soil.

Dr Farah Palmer was honoured, receiving the Vernon Pugh award, while Bryan Habana was given the Special Merit Award.

Other awards included the try of the season for both women and men. The former was won by Abby Dow of England.

With the latter going to Chile’s Rodrigo Fernandez after this sodden stunner of a try against the USA, in game one of the Condores’ two-legged showdown with the Eagles to qualify for Rugby World Cup 2023 in France.

Charlotte Caslick was named the women’s sevens player of the year, while Terry Kennedy of Ireland was named the men’s sevens player of the year.

World Rugby also announced their 15s of the year, while Tappe Henning won a special referees award.

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