Blackadder is named our top rugby personality

Inspirational former Canterbury captain and All Blacks leader Todd Blackadder was last night named the New Zealand rugby personality of the year.

Blackadder, now playing in Scotland for the Edinburgh club, scooped the premier award at a New Zealand Rugby Football Union function in Auckland.

He was unable to attend the function and the Kel Tremain Memorial Trophy was collected by his mother, Carolynn and brother Scott.

Canterbury, the first-division NPC champions and holders of the Ranfurly Shield, dominated the top tier of the awards, with new All Blacks flanker Richard McCaw winning dual honours as division-one player of the year, in his debut season, and under-21 player of the year.

Canterbury were named as the top team.

Caleb Ralph rounded out the Canterbury silverware collection, receiving the Tom French Memorial Trophy for Maori player of the year.

Chiefs and New Zealand Maori captain Deon Muir was named the leading Super 12 player and Taranaki's Colin Cooper was considered coach of the year in recognition of his efforts in guiding the New Zealand Colts to the under-21 tournament title in Australia.

North Harbour's Karl TeNana, a finalist in the personality section with former Otago player Brendan Laney, was named top sevens player.

Annaleah Rush was named women's player of the year and fellow Aucklander Sam Tuitupou was judged under-19 player of the year.

Hawkes Bay loose forward Reece Robinson was the NPC second-division player of the year, and North Otago prop Hotili Asi took out the third-division award.

Veteran sportswriter Sir Terry McLean was awarded the Steinlager Salver in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the sport.

THE WINNERS


Kel Tremain Memorial Trophy (personality of the year): Todd Blackadder.

Team: Canterbury.

Super 12: Deon Muir (Chiefs).

Coach: Colin Cooper (Taranaki).

NPC division one: Richard McCaw (Canterbury).

NPC division two: Reece Robinson (Hawkes Bay).

NPC division three: Hotili Asi (North Otago).

Sevens: Karl TeNana (North Harbour).

Maori: Caleb Ralph (Canterbury).

Under-21: Richard McCaw (Canterbury).

Under-19: Sam Tuitupou (Auckland).

Women's player: Annaleah Rush (Auckland).

Referee: Kelvin Deaker (Hawkes Bay).

Outstanding contribution: Sir Terry McLean.

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