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Van der Flier and Demant win Player of the Year awards

Van der Flier and Demant win Player of the Year awards

Van der Flier and Demant win Player of the Year awards

World Rugby Awards, Monte Carlo Sporting Club, Monaco, France 20/11/2022 Ireland’s Josh van der Flier and New Zealand’s Ruahei Demant are named World Rugby Men’s and Women’s 15s Player of the Year 2022 Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/World Rugby

Josh van der Flier was named men’s Player of the Year at the World Rugby Awards after making history with Ireland and Leinster this season.

The flanker scored two tries as Ireland finished second in the 2022 Guinness Six Nations, and also picked up the player of the match award for his performance in the 57-6 win against Italy.

In the summer, he was the standout star in Andy Farrell’s side as Ireland claimed their first series win in New Zealand, beating the All Blacks in back-to-back Tests after losing the opener.

At club level, the 29-year-old helped Leinster to the 2022 European Rugby Champions Cup Final, where they fell to a 24-21 loss against La Rochelle. It was also a landmark year for him personally.

Josh van der Flier Ireland

“The win over in NZ was right up there, in terms of rugby, but I got married in August so that probably has to be at the top,” he said.

“I have been incredibly fortunate to have great team-mates and coaches that have really pushed me on, as well as my wife and my family supporting me a huge amount.

“I have always felt I needed to be playing at my best the whole time or I wouldn’t be playing.”

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The men’s Breakthrough Player of the Year went to Italy’s Ange Capuozzo after the full-back enjoyed a brilliant first season on the international stage.

Ange Capuozzo

The 23-year-old made his Test debut in the 2022 Guinness Six Nations and played a starring role in his side’s win over Wales.

Capuozzo scored a stunning try in the Azzurri’s 63-21 defeat to South Africa at the weekend.

England’s Alex Matthews and France’s Laure Sansus were nominated for Women’s Player of the Year prize, but the prize went to Ruahei Demant after she helped New Zealand to their sixth Rugby World Cup title.

Demant’s coach Wayne Smith picked up Coach of the Year, with Farrell, Fabien Galthié and Simon Middleton missing out.

The women’s Breakthrough Player of the Year went to Ruby Tui, though England star Maud Muir was unlucky after a sensational set of performances at the World Cup.

Ellis Genge, Tadhg Furlong, Tadhg Beirne, van der Flier and Grégory Alldritt all made it into the forward pack in the Men’s 15s Dream Team of the Year.

They were joined by southern hemisphere stars Malcolm Marx, Sam Whitelock, and Pablo Matera.

In the backs, Antoine Dupont and Johnny Sexton were selected at nine and ten, with South African duo Damian de Allende and Lukhanyo Am included in the centres.

Freddie Steward is at full-back, with Marika Koroibete and Will Jordan either side of him.

The women’s Dream Team of the Year featured England stars Sarah Bern, Abbie Ward, Alex Matthews, and Marlie Packer in the forward pack.

Emily Scarratt and Abby Dow made it into the back line, with fellow TikTok Women’s Six Nations star Sansus selected at scrum-half.

France’s Madoussou Fall is at lock after helping her side to the World Cup semi-final.

She is joined by Black Fern stars Demant, Tui, Theresa Fitzpatrick and Portia Woodman.

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