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Carter named Player of the Year
February 3, 2005

All Blacks flyhalf Dan Carter has been named New Zealand's Rugby Player of the Year for 2004 and also the Super 12 Player of the Year.

The announcement was made at the Steinlager Awards dinner in Wellington.

Carter excelled for the All Blacks last year, scoring 141 points to finish the season as the team's leading points scorer.

He scored 21 points in the first Test of the year, against England at Carisbrook, to equal the record jointly held by Andrew Mehrtens and Jonny Wilkinson for the most points by an individual in a New Zealand v England match.

His achievements across the year were recognised with his dual win as Rebel Sport Super 12 Player of the Year and Kel Tremain Memorial Player of the Year.

Elsewhere, All Blacks duo - loose forward Jerome Kaino and prop Carl Hayman were also rewarded for their performances in 2004.

Kaino was named NZRU Age Grade Player of the Year following a successful IRB Under 21 Championships with the New Zealand Colts and a superb Air New Zealand NPC campaign with Auckland.

Hayman was rewarded for his strong performances for the All Blacks, Highlanders and Otago when he walked away with the Tom French Memorial New Zealand Maori Player of the Year award.

New Zealand Sevens captain Liam Messam received the Richard Crawshaw Memorial Sevens Player of the Year award. Messam led the team to its fifth IRB Sevens title in June and will again lead the side at this weekend's AXA New Zealand International Sevens tournament.

Canterbury, under the coaching of Aussie McLean, was named the adidas Team of the Year. They won their first Air New Zealand NPC Division One title since 2001 after beating Wellington in last year's final.

After missing the latter stages of the All Blacks' mid-year programme, Richie McCaw made a remarkable comeback to lead Canterbury to the Air New Zealand NPC Division One title and was tonight rewarded with his naming as the Air New Zealand NPC Division One Player of the Year.

Nelson Bays' Mark Bright scooped the Air New Zealand NPC Division Two title while Horowhenua Kapiti loose forward Craig Tansley was named Air New Zealand NPC Division Three player of the Year.

Bay of Plenty coach Vern Cotter snapped up the Coach of the Year award. Cotter guided the Steamers to Ranfurly Shield success as well as to the semi-finals of Division One in the Air New Zealand NPC.

Other winners include Paddy O'Brien, who was named NZRU Referee of the Year.

The full list of winners is:

NZRU Age Grade Player of the Year
Jerome Kaino

Richard Crawshaw Memorial Sevens Player of the Year
Liam Messam

NZRU Referee of the Year
Paddy O'Brien

Lion Foundation Cup Women's Player of the Year
Stephanie Mortimer (Canterbury)

New Zealand Rugby Volunteer of the Year
Adele Wakely (Hawke's Bay)

Rebel Sport Super 12 Player of the Year
Daniel Carter (Crusaders)

adidas Team of the Year
Canterbury

Tom French Memorial Maori Player of the Year
Carl Hayman

Air New Zealand NPC Division Three Player of the Year
Craig Tansley (Horowhenua Kapiti)

Air New Zealand NPC Division Two Player of the Year
Mark Bright (Nelson Bays)

Air New Zealand NPC Division One Player of the Year
Richard McCaw (Canterbury)

New Zealand Rugby Coach of the Year
Vern Cotter (Bay of Plenty)

Steinlager Salver for an outstanding contribution to New Zealand Rugby
Peter Bush

Kel Tremain Memorial Player of the Year
Daniel Carter

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