Ardie Savea capped off his phenomenal year on the rugby field with a string of awards last night – even though he wasn’t there to accept them.
The Hurricanes flanker won Super Rugby player of the year, the inaugural All Blacks player of the year and the Kelvin R Tremain Memorial overall player of the year. However, Savea is currently recovering from knee surgery that may keep him off the field for another six months, so missed the New Zealand Rugby awards ceremony at Sky City in Auckland.
Savea’s form saw him promoted to starting in the loose forwards alongside captain Kieran Read and Sam Cane for the majority of the test season. He was also the most consistent player in a Hurricanes side that had to overcome the unavailability of its All Black players throughout the season.
In the other men’s awards, Crusaders coach Scott Robertson won national coach of the year, which was a little ironic considering he was passed over for the All Black job earlier this week. Allan Bunting and Cory Sweeney were jointly named New Zealand coach of the year for their work with the Black Ferns Sevens.
The Crusaders were named national team of the year after their historic third Super Rugby title in a row and 10th overall.
Tone Ng Shiu picked up the All Blacks Sevens player of the year, while Bay of Plenty’s Chase Tiatia won the Duane Monkley Medal for Mitre 10 Cup player of the year.
TJ Perenara’s spectacular try against Namibia in the World Cup won try of the year.