Kieran Read named NZ Player of the Year
December 5, 2013
Pam Tremain presents Kieran Read with the Kel Tremain Memorial Trophy © Getty Images
New Zealand Rugby Awards 2013
Kieran Read has been named Player of the Year at the New Zealand rugby awards, beating off challenges from All Blacks team-mates Ben Smith and Liam Messam to lift the Kel Tremain Memorial Trophy two days after being crowned IRB World Player of the Year.
The undefeated All Blacks were named Team of the Year and Steve Hansen was named Coach of the Year, also mirroring the IRB awards.
Hansen's rival coaching nominees all held strong claims, Dave Rennie overseeing a second-successive Super Rugby triumph with the Chiefs and Sir Gordon Tietjens leading the New Zealand Sevens team to victory in the World Cup and HSBC World Series. Those two teams were also in contention for team of the year, along with ITM Cup champions Canterbury.
Chiefs flanker Messam (Maori player) and Highlanders back Smith (Super Rugby player) both snared their own honours, while Canterbury halfback Andy Ellis was named best player in the ITM Cup. The Sevens player honours were won by Kurt Baker (men) and Portia Woodman (women).
Read said the enormity of the All Blacks' perfect year and his own personal contributions still hadn't quite settled, and that he would sit down and properly reflect in due time.
"From my point of view I wanted to be a big part of that," Read said. "I guess out on the field is where people judge you, so that's where you want to be performing and that's when I certainly said at the start of the year: being the guy that makes the difference on the field."
All Blacks captain Richie McCaw spoke highly of his No.8, saying Read had played superbly all year and deserved the recognition.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Huw Richards assesses where Wales are after a mixed Six Nations, with front row seats still very much available for the World Cup
John Mitchell lapped up the action on 'Sensational Saturday' - but warns not to expect a repeat come Rugby World Cup time later this year
Craig Dowd warns England, Ireland and Wales they should play to their strengths rather than those of the All Blacks and the Wallabies
Tom Hamilton runs the rule over just where the six countries stand ahead of the global gathering in September