Michael Hooper named Waratahs' best
August 29, 2013
Michael Hooper has been named New South Wales Players' Player of the Year for his outstanding efforts in Super Rugby 2013, while Israel Folau celebrated his decision to stay in rugby by winning two categories at the Waratahs awards night.
Folau was named Best Back and Members' Choice Player of the Year after announcing earlier in the day that he had re-signed with the Waratahs and the Australian Rugby Union for two more years. The awards followed his recent acknowledgement as Australia's Super Rugby Rookie of the Year, but he finished a distant second to Hooper in voting for the Matthew Burke Cup.
Wallabies forward Hooper, recently named Australian Super Rugby Player of the Year, polled 298 votes to win the Players' Player of the Year award by almost 100 points from fellow first-year Waratahs player Folau (200). Adam Ashley-Cooper (171) finished third in voting ahead of Bernard Foley (167) and Benn Robinson (150).
Robinson, recently dumped from the Wallabies squad, won the Best Forward award.
Hooper equalled Folau's haul of two awards by winning the Waratah Medal for on- and off-field excellence. Will Skelton, one of 17 players to debut for the Waratahs this year, won the Chris Whitaker Aspiring Waratah Award.
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