De Villiers scoops award double
November 25, 2008
De Villiers was considered unlucky not to feature in the IRB's Player of the Year shortlist © Getty Images
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
Young Player of the Year
Players' Player of the Year
Team of the Year
Coach of the Year
(The outstanding coach of the 2008 South African season)
Super 14 Player of the Year
Currie Cup Premier Division Player of the Year
Currie Cup First Division Player of the Year
Vodacom Cup Player of the Year
SuperSport Try of the Year
Sevens Player of the Year
SA Under-20 Player of the Year
Women's Player of the Year Lorinda Brown (Eastern Province)
SAA National Club Champs Player of the Tournament
Refereeing Achievement of the Year
Coca-Cola Craven Week Player of the Tournament
Springbok Journalism Awards