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De Villiers scoops award double
Scrum.com
November 25, 2008
Jean De Villiers breaks clear during South Africa's 14-10 victory over Scotland at Murrayfield, November 15 2008
De Villiers was considered unlucky not to feature in the IRB's Player of the Year shortlist © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Jean de Villiers
Teams: South Africa

Springbok centre Jean de Villiers has been named the South African Player of the Year and Players' Player of the Year at SA Rugby's annual awards.

The 27-year-old Western Province player was the clear winner in a poll of South African rugby journalists for the SA Rugby Player of the Year title ahead of four players from the Sharks - Bismarck du Plessis, Adrian Jacobs, Ryan Kankowski and Beast Mtawarira.

De Villiers completed a memorable double as he was also awarded the prestigious Players' Player of the Year Award, voted for by members of the South African Rugby Players' Association (SARPA) ?- the first man to complete the double since Ashwin Willemse won both in the 2003 season.

Ryan Kankowski's outstanding year was recognised with four nominations although he had to settle for just one award as the Sharks' No.8 was chosen as the Super 14 Player of the Year. He was also nominated for Young Player of the Year and Currie Cup Premier Division Player of the Year as well as for the main award. His back-row colleague Jean Deysel also had his devastating form in the Sharks' run to the title recognised when he was named Currie Cup Premier Division Player of the Year.

And completing the Sharks' joy was the award of two of the three new categories introduced this year. John Plumtree was chosen as Coach of the Year after helping the Sharks end their 12-year wait for a title with victory on the Currie Cup final, while the Sharks' Super 14 was named as Team of the Year after returning to the play-offs for a second successive year,

Other big winners on the night were Free State Cheetahs centre Robert Ebersohn who was named Young Player of the Year from a strong field as well as the Under-20 Player of the Year. Kennedy Tsimba was named as Currie Cup First Division Player of the Year, six years after he was named as the Premier Division Player of the Year after his return to fitness in the Griffons' impressive surge to the First Division title.

Fly-half Burton Francis of the Blue Bulls was chosen as the Vodacom Cup Player of the Year while Ricky Januarie's score against the All Blacks in Dunedin was named as SuperSport Try of the Year.

In women's rugby, Lorinda Brown of Eastern Province capped a fine year in which she played for the national sevens and 15-a-side teams and was part of an inter-provincial title-winning side by being named as Women?s Player of the Year.

SA Rugby Award Winners

SA Rugby Player of the Year
(The outstanding rugby player of the 2008 South African season)
Winner: Jean de Villiers (Western Province)
Also nominated: Bismarck du Plessis, Adrian Jacobs, Ryan Kankowski, Beast Mtawarira (all Sharks).

Young Player of the Year
(The outstanding young rugby player of 23 years or younger of the 2008 South African season- born in 1985 or later)
Winner: Robert Ebersohn (Free State Cheetahs)
Also nominated: Heinrich Brussow (State Cheetahs), Ryan Kankowski, (Sharks), Nick Koster (Western Province), Beast Mtawarira (Sharks).

Players' Player of the Year
Winner: Jean de Villiers (Western Province)

Team of the Year
(The outstanding South African team or province of the 2008 season. This may be awarded for performances in a single tournament or for a province/franchises performances across a range of competitions)
Winner: Sharks (Super 14 team)
Also nominated: Platinum Leopards, Sharks (Currie Cup team), Blue Bulls, Stormers.

Coach of the Year (The outstanding coach of the 2008 South African season)
Winner: John Plumtree (Sharks, Currie Cup)
Also nominated: Eugene Eloff (Golden Lions), Rassie Erasmus (Stormers), Frans Ludeke (Blue Bulls). Chaka Willemse (Platinum Leopards).

Super 14 Player of the Year
(The outstanding player of the 2008 Super 14 season)
Winner: Ryan Kankowski (Sharks)
Also nominated: Andries Bekker, Jean de Villiers, Conrad Jantjes (all Stormers), Rory Kockott (both Sharks).

Currie Cup Premier Division Player of the Year
(The outstanding player of the 2008 Currie Cup Premier Division season)
Winner: Jean Deysel (Sharks) Also nominated: Heinrich Brussow (Free State Cheetahs), Ryan Kankowski (both Sharks), Wynand Olivier (Blue Bulls), Stefan Terblanche (Sharks).

Currie Cup First Division Player of the Year
(The outstanding player of the 2008 Currie Cup First Division season)
Winner: Kennedy Tsimba (Griffons).
Also nominated: Cecil Afrika, (Griffons), Clayton Durand (Leopards), Ashley Johnson (Griffons), Vuyo Zangqa (Leopards).

Vodacom Cup Player of the Year
(The outstanding player of the 2008 Vodacom Cup season)
Winner: Burton Francis (Blue Bulls)
Also nominated: Isma-eel Dollie (Western Province), Rocco Jansen (both Blue Bulls), Ashley Johnson, Wilton Pietersen (both Free State Cheetahs).

SuperSport Try of the Year
Winner: Ricky Januarie (SA v New Zealand, Dunedin)

Sevens Player of the Year
Renfred Deysel

SA Under-20 Player of the Year
Robert Ebersohn (Free State Cheetahs)

Women's Player of the Year Lorinda Brown (Eastern Province)

SAA National Club Champs Player of the Tournament
Lola Waka (Pukke)

Refereeing Achievement of the Year
Mark Lawrence

Coca-Cola Craven Week Player of the Tournament
Sampie Mastriet (Boland)

Springbok Journalism Awards
Springbok Journalist of the Year: Simnikiwe Xabanisa (Sunday Times).
Springbok Broadcasters of the Year: Dawie van Rensburg, Gert Roets (SuperSport for Springbok Saga)
Springbok Photographer of the Year: Craig Nieuwenhuizen (Rapport)

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