New Zealand captain Richie McCaw has been named the International Rugby Board Player of the Year 2010 in association with Emirates Airline.
The 29-year-old flanker is the first player to receive the prestigious accolade three times, as well as in consecutive years, cementing his position as one of the greats of the Game.
The accolade completes a hat-trick of IRB Awards for New Zealand announced today, with the All Blacks named IRB Team of the Year 2010 in association with Emirates Airline and Graham Henry unveiled as IRB Coach of the Year for a record fourth time.
Henry has previously been named IRB Coach of the Year in 2005, 2006 and 2008 and New Zealand are named IRB Team of the Year for the fourth time in six years. [...]
The IRB Player of the Year Award is selected by the IRB Awards independent panel of judges, comprising former internationals with over 500 Test caps between them. Will Greenwood, Gavin Hastings, Raphaël Ibanez, Francois Pienaar, Agustín Pichot, Scott Quinnell, Tana Umaga, Paul Wallace and convenor John Eales watched over 78 hours of action from 59 matches, awarding points to the three players they thought stood out in each match.
“Rugby is fortunate to have a player and person of the calibre of Richie McCaw. He is an outstanding captain, a world class player and a role model for our sport. In winning the Award three times, Richie has truly cemented his place right up there amongst some of the greats,” said Eales. [...]
The accolades cap a phenomenal year for New Zealand Rugby with Julian Savea winning the IRB Junior Player of the Year in June and Carla Hohepa named IRB Women’s Personality of the Year in September after a magnificent Women’s Rugby World Cup.