McCaw scoops coveted IRB prize
November 28, 2009
Richie McCaw has added the IRB World Player of the Year award to the Dave Gallaher trophy © Getty Images
New Zealand skipper Richie McCaw celebrated his side's emphatic victory over France in Marseille by collecting the coveted IRB World Player of the Year prize for an unprecedented second time.
The openside beat competition from Australia fly-half Matt Giteau, Ireland skipper Brian O'Driscoll, South Africa scrum-half Fourie du Preez, Ireland No.8 Jamie Heaslip and Springbok fullback Frans Steyn to succeed Welsh winger Shane Williams as the man at the top of the sport.
South Africa were named as Team of the Year after defeating the British & Irish Lions in a thrilling Test series before powering to their first Tri-Nations title since 2004.
"It's been a huge year for us and to top it off with a recognition like this, to secure the top prize is massive. It was a huge ambition of many of the guys to beat the British & Irish Lions, it was a goal to be victorious so that was a great highlight for us during the year," said skipper John Smit.
"I'm very proud to be associated with these guys, it has become a family and hopefully we can keep it going for another two years."
Ireland's Grand Slam effort was recognised with the award for Coach of the Year going to Declan Kidney, who was busy celebrating victory over the Springboks at Croke Park.
Kindey lead Ireland to their first clean sweep of the Six Nations since 1948 in his first tournament in charge. He had previously coached Munster to the Heineken Cup title in 2006 and 2008.
"I don't know what to say really, the team have been superb over the last 12 months. I feel my role is overstated, I haven't made a tackle all year! But for my family putting up with me and the players putting up with me even more I'd like to accept it on their behalf," said Kidney.
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