Hansen, Carter, All Blacks big winners in IRB awards

Steve Hansen (R) the head coach of New Zealand receives the Team of The Year award from Oregan Hoskins the President of SARFU. Photo / Getty Images.
Steve Hansen (R) the head coach of New Zealand receives the Team of The Year award from Oregan Hoskins the President of SARFU. Photo / Getty Images.

They finished the year on a disappointing note, but Dan Carter, Steve Hansen and the All Blacks scooped the big International Rugby Board prizes for 2012.

All Blacks first five-eighth Dan Carter was named the IRB Player of the Year - the second time he was won the award.

The 30-year-old first received the honour in 2005 and becomes the only player other than his captain Richie McCaw to have received the award more than once.

Carter edged out McCaw, England No10 Owen Farrell and France first-five Frederic Michalak for the award, despite struggling with injuries this year.

A case could easily have been made for McCaw to receive the award for the fourth time, but Carter produced one of his best performances of the season in the All Blacks' big victory over Scotland at Murrayfield. However, he was far less prominent in a disappointing defeat by his team against England at Twickenham.

The accolade completed a hat-trick of awards for New Zealand, as the All Blacks were named IRB Team of the Year for the sixth time and Steve Hansen the IRB Coach of the Year.

Last month New Zealand celebrated their third anniversary as the No1 team in the IRB world rankings, playing an up-tempo brand of rugby that was largely successful.

After an eight-year apprenticeship as Graham Henry's assistant, Hansen stepped up to the role of head coach and has arguably taken the All Blacks on to greater heights.

Under his command New Zealand were unbeaten in the calendar year until a 38-21 loss to England at Twickenham on Sunday, a result which brought to an end their 20-match unbeaten run.

In this time the All Blacks claimed the Bledisloe Cup for the 10th consecutive year on their way to the inaugural Rugby Championship title.

At the draw for the 2015 World Cup in London overnight (early Tues morning) IRB chairman Bernard Lapasset presented McCaw with the Team Award and the Players' Award on Carter's behalf, while IRB vice-chairman Oregan Hoskins presented Hansen with the Coach Award.

The IRB Player of the Year award is selected by the IRB Awards independent panel of judges, comprising former internationals with more than 500 Test caps between them.

Will Greenwood, Gavin Hastings, Raphael Ibanez, Francois Pienaar, Agustin Pichot, Scott Quinnell, Tana Umaga, Paul Wallace and convenor John Eales watched more than 100 hours of test action, awarding points to the three players they thought stood out in each match.

Previous winners of IRB Player of the Year Award:

2011 - Thierry Dusautoir (France)

2010 - Richie McCaw (New Zealand)

2009 - Richie McCaw (New Zealand)

2008 - Shane Williams (Wales)

2007 - Bryan Habana (South Africa)

2006 - Richie McCaw (New Zealand)

2005 - Dan Carter (New Zealand)

2004 - Schalk Burger (South Africa)

2003 - Jonny Wilkinson (England)

2002 - Fabien Galthie (France)

2001 - Keith Wood (Ireland)

- APNZ

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