Recommended NZ | Guide to Money | Gimme: Competitions - Giveaways

2009 Steinlager Rugby Awards Winners Announced

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Outstanding leadership in the New Zealand game was highlighted by six captains being among the winners at this year's Steinlager Rugby Awards, New Zealand's premier rugby awards. All Blacks Captain Richie McCaw becomes the first person to be named the Kelvin R. Tremain Memorial Player of the Year for a third time, having previously won the award in 2003 and 2006. This accolade follows his recent naming as the 2009 International Rugby Board (IRB) Player of the Year, making him the first person to win the IRB Award twice (previously awarded in 2006).

Mils Muliaina, who deputised for McCaw in his early season absence and also led the Chiefs, won the Rebel Sport Super 14 Player of the Year.

Victoria Heighway, Captain of the Auckland Storm and the Black Ferns for their tour to England, was named the NZRU Women's Player of the Year; Manawatu's New Zealand Under 20 Captain Aaron Cruden picked up the NZRU Age Grade Player of the Year; while Zar Lawrence who filled in as the New Zealand Sevens Captain won the Richard Crawshaw Memorial Sevens Player of the Year.

The Steinlager Salver, a special presentation to a person who has made an outstanding contribution to New Zealand rugby, was presented to former All Blacks Captain DJ Graham.

After debuting in 1958 Graham played 53 matches in the black jersey, including 22 tests, and after retiring went on to an outstanding administrative career, serving as the Auckland Rugby Union's President as well as NZRU Vice President and President. The Tom French Memorial Maori Player of the Year Award went to exciting wonder wing Zac Guildford; Bryce Lawrence made it two in a row with the NZRU Referee of the Year; and Otago's Blair Crawford became the inaugural winner of the re-named Charles Monro Rugby Volunteer of the Year Award for his services to community rugby.

The achievement of winning back-to-back titles was recognised by Canterbury being awarded the adidas Team of the Year for their Air New Zealand Cup triumph and Dave Rennie being named as New Zealand Rugby Coach of the Year after leading his young charges to a second IRB Junior World Championship.

Domestically, new All Blacks and Bay of Plenty pivot Mike Delany won the Air New Zealand Cup Player of the Year after an outstanding season and the Heartland Championship Player of the Year Award went to Asaeli Tikoirotuma from Meads Cup champions Wanganui.

The judges for the 2009 Steinlager Rugby Awards were former All Blacks captain and former NZRU President Andy Leslie, NZRU Board member and former All Blacks captain Graham Mourie, SKY Sport rugby commentator Grant Nisbett and former All Black and current NZRU General Manager Community and Provincial Union Rugby Brent Anderson.

The full list of winners at the 2009 Steinlager Rugby Awards is as follows:

NZRU Age Grade Player of the Year Aaron Cruden (Manawatu)

Richard Crawshaw Memorial Sevens Player of the Year Zar Lawrence (Bay of Plenty)

NZRU Referee of the Year Bryce Lawrence (Bay of Plenty)

NZRU Women's Player of the Year Victoria Heighway (Auckland)

Charles Monro Rugby Volunteer of the Year Blair Crawford (Otago)

Rebel Sport Super 14 Player of the Year Malili (Mils) Muliaina (Chiefs)

Tom French Memorial Maori Player of the Year Zac Guildford (Hawke's Bay)

Heartland Championship Player of the Year Asaeli Tikoirotuma (Wanganui)

Air New Zealand Cup Player of the Year Mike Delany (Bay of Plenty)

adidas Team of the Year Canterbury

New Zealand Rugby Coach of the Year Dave Rennie (New Zealand Under 20, Manawatu)

Steinlager Salver for an Outstanding Contribution to New Zealand Rugby DJ Graham

Kelvin R. Tremain Memorial Player of the Year Richie McCaw

All articles and comments on Voxy.co.nz have been submitted by our community of users. Please notify us through our contact form if you believe an item on this site breaches our community guidelines.