Pieter-Steph Du Toit named World Rugby Player of the Year

Rassie Erasmus named coach of the year with Jamie Heaslip receiving merit award

Flanker Pieter-Steph Du Toit  has been named World Rugby Player of the Year. Photograph: Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP/Getty

Flanker Pieter-Steph Du Toit has been named World Rugby Player of the Year. Photograph: Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP/Getty

 

New world champions South Africa enjoyed a memorable night at World Rugby’s annual awards night in Tokyo, landing three top awards.

Flanker Pieter-Steph Du Toit won the men’s world player of the year title, becoming the third Springbok to land the award after Schalk Burger and Bryan Habana.

Du Toit has been in outstanding form all year, culminating in a memorable display during Saturday’s World Cup final when South Africa beat England 32-12.

The other nominations were Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones, England flanker Tom Curry, Springboks wing Cheslin Kolbe, New Zealand flanker Ardie Savea and USA forward Joe Taufete’e.

A keenly-contested coach of the year award went to Rassie Erasmus, who masterminded the World Cup triumph, with his Springboks side named team of the year.

Erasmus prevailed in a category that saw England’s Eddie Jones, Wales boss Warren Gatland, Japan head coach Jamie Joseph and New Zealand’s Steve Hansen nominated.

England, Wales, Japan and New Zealand also received nominations in the team category, but the Springboks’ latest triumph was recognised as captain Siya Kolisi received the award from World Rugby vice-chairman Agustin Pichot.

There was a sole success for Ireland, with Jamie Heaslip, who won 95 caps for his country and retired last year, receiving the International Rugby Players’ special merit award.

Wayne Barnes won the referee award, while England centre Emily Scarratt was crowned women’s world player of the year.

Finally, try of the year went to New Zealand scrum-half TJ Perenara following a stunning score in the World Cup pool game against Namibia.

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