World Rugby Awards: Ireland's Josh van der Flier named men's Player of Year, England's Abby Dow wins women's Try of the Year
Ireland's Josh van der Flier won the 2022 World Rugby Men's 15s Player of the Year award on Sunday night; England's Abby Dow took home the International Rugby Players Women’s Try of the Year from the World Rugby Awards in Monaco; Four Irishman, two Englishman in Team of the Year
Last Updated: 20/11/22 11:02pm
Ireland's Josh van der Flier was named as World Rugby Men's 15s Player of the Year on Sunday night with England's Abby Dow securing the World Rugby's Women's Try of the Year at the 2022 World Rugby Awards.
Van der Flier came out on top of a strong list of nominees for the prestigious men's award, a list that included his team-mate and captain Johnny Sexton.
Former winner Antoine Dupont was also nominated alongside South Africa's Lukhanyo Am.
Van der Flier and Sexton were part of the Irish team that claimed a historic series win against the All Blacks in New Zealand. This autumn, the side has produced a clean sweep of victories over South Africa, Fiji and Australia.
The individual award for Van der Flier adds to the 2022 EPCR European Player of the Year award he won earlier this year.
"I've been incredibly fortunate to have great team-mates and coaches that have really pushed me on. As well, my wife and my family have supported me a huge amount, " Van der Flier said.
"I'm lucky to have some very experienced and top-quality players in our team and in my position as well, both in Ireland and at Leinster.
"I've always felt that I've needed to have been playing at my best the whole time otherwise I wouldn't be playing and that's certainly driven me on."
World Rugby Men’s 15s Dream Team of the Year
15. Freddie Steward (England), 14. Will Jordan (New Zealand), 13. Lukhanyo Am (South Africa), 12. Damian de Allende (South Africa), 11. Marika Koroibete (Australia), 10. Johnny Sexton (Ireland), 9. Antoine Dupont (France), 1. Ellis Genge (England) 2. Malcolm Marx (South Africa) 3. Tadhg Furlong (Ireland) 4. Tadhg Beirne (Ireland) 5. Sam Whitelock (New Zealand) 6. Pablo Matera (Argentina) 7. Josh van der Flier (Ireland) 8. Gregory Alldritt (France).
Ireland's head coach Andy Farrell was on the list of nominees for the World Rugby Coach of the year but missed out on the award to Wayne Smith, the Black Ferns' World Cup-winning head coach.
Smith led the Black Ferns to a sixth Rugby World Cup triumph and first on home soil, beating England in the final. He duly became the first man to win both the male and female World Cup competitions as a coach.
New Zealand co-captain Ruahei Demant was named as the World Rugby Women's 15s Player of the Year 2022 and Demant is someone Smith called "one of the best leaders I've ever had in a team".
Ireland's Terry Kennedy took home the award for World Rugby Men's Sevens Player of the Year.
Kennedy scored 50 tries during the 2022 World Rugby Sevens Series and signed off from a remarkable sevens career by helping his Ireland to victory in the Rugby World Cup Sevens 2022 bronze final.
Van der Flier: Team success at World Cup is what you want at the end of the day
Van der Flier, 29, started all 11 of his country's Tests in 2022, scoring four tries, as they claimed a Six Nations Triple Crown, clinched a historic tour success in New Zealand, defeated world champions South Africa and took top spot in the global rankings.
He shared a table with ex-Springboks star Bryan Habana and former All Blacks duo Dan Carter and Conrad Smith at the awards ceremony in Monaco, an experience which has fuelled his hunger.
"Even though I knew I was nominated, honestly it hasn't really sunk in, but (I'm) feeling very honoured," he said of the award, according to the Irish Rugby Football Union website.
"I was sitting at a table with the likes of Dan Carter, Bryan Habana, Conrad Smith, all these greats of the game.
"Chatting to them, it definitely drives you on to kind of not make it a once-off season that goes really well. You look at the legends of the game like them that have played to that top level for 15 years or so.
"So, that's certainly going to drive me on. No doubt the way we've been pushed by the coaches in Ireland to perform and to try and improve, I think you've probably seen that in the individual performances as well as the team performance."
Van Der Flier, who won his 45th international cap in Saturday's 13-10 win over Australia, has ambitions of emulating the achievements of Habana, Carter and Smith by lifting the Webb Ellis Cup with Ireland next year.
"Team success is what you want at the end of the day," said the Leinster openside.
"I'm very grateful for the team that I've been fortunate to be a part of and how well we've done this year.
"They showed a highlights reel for the nominees, all my tries were set up by someone else or they were maul tries where everyone else did all the other work and I just put the ball down.
"It's been one of those seasons where I've got on the end of a few, the bounce of the ball went my way.
"It was pretty cool to be even nominated alongside Lukhanyo, Antoine and Johnny as well. It was a very special moment to be announced as the winner."
Dow wins Women's World Rugby Try of Year
England's Dow won the World Rugby International Rugby Players Women's Try of the Year for a stunning English effort that started from behind their own try line against Canada.
"I just want to send out all my thanks to World Rugby and to England for being able to support me and the team so we can put out performances like that," she said at the awards ceremony.
"It was end-to-end rugby; it came from the forwards to the backs, and everyone just did their jobs to the best of their abilities. It was incredible.
"The whole of England has been behind us, we felt it before we went (to the World Cup) and we felt it since we've been back. It's been incredible to be a part of it."
Dow was also one of six Red Roses to be included in the World Rugby Women's 15s Dream Team of the Year.
World Rugby Women’s 15s Dream Team of the Year
15. Abby Dow (England), 14. Portia Woodman (New Zealand), 13. Emily Scarratt (England), 12. Theresa Fitzpatrick (New Zealand), 11. Ruby Tui (New Zealand), 10. Ruahei Demant (New Zealand), 9. Laure Sansus (France), 1. Hope Rogers (USA) 2. Emily Tuttosi (Canada) 3. Sarah Bern (England) 4. Abbie Ward (England) 5. Madoussou Fall (France) 6. Alex Matthews (England) 7. Marlie Packer (England) 8. Sophie de Goede (Canada).
Ruby Tui was named as World Rugby Women's 15s Breakthrough Player of the Year.
Tui also received a new Rugby World Cup winners' medal at the awards ceremony in Monaco, after giving her own away to a young fan who had recovered from Leukemia the day of the World Cup final.
"It's amazing to be here, it's a whirlwind," Tui said at the awards. "I'm so proud of New Zealand. It's such an honour to win this award, at 27-and-a-half years old, I think I've set the record for oldest rookie in 15s, but hey I'll take it."
Italy's Ange Capuozzo, who famously made an end-to-end break to ensure the Azzurri ended their 36-match losing run in the Six Nations and scored twice against Australia this autumn was named as the men's 15s breakthrough player.
2022 World Rugby Awards Winners
- Ruby Tui (New Zealand) - World Rugby Women's 15s Breakthrough Player of the Year
- Ange Capuozzo (Italy) - World Rugby Men's 15s Breakthrough Player of the Year
- Wayne Smith, New Zealand Women's 15s - World Rugby Coach of the Year
- Tappe Henning (South Africa) - World Rugby Referee Award
- Dr Farah Palmer (New Zealand) - Vernon Pugh Award for Distinguished Service
- Bryan Habana (South Africa) - International Rugby Players Special Merit Award
- Abby Dow (England vs Canada) - International Rugby Players Women's Try of the Year
- Rodrigo Fernandez (Chile vs US) - International Rugby Players Men's Try of the Year
- Charlotte Caslick (Australia) - World Rugby Women's Sevens Player of the Year
- Terry Kennedy (Ireland) - World Rugby Men's Sevens Player of the Year
- Josh van der Flier (Ireland) - World Rugby Men's 15s Player of the Year
- Ruahei Demant (New Zealand) - World Rugby Women's 15s Player of the Year