Awards add to All Blacks' joy but Cheika's top coach

LONDON • A day after he played a pivotal role in New Zealand's Rugby World Cup victory, Dan Carter completed a memorable weekend when he was voted the sport's Player of the Year for a third time.

The All Blacks, the first team to win the tournament three times, were also named Team of the Year - for the sixth time in a row - at the ceremony in London on Sunday night.

Despite overseeing that back-to-back triumph, Steve Hansen missed out on a fourth successive Coach of the Year award.

It went to Australia's Michael Cheika after his impressive turnaround of the Wallabies over the last 12 months as he led them to the Rugby Championship title and runners-up spot in the World Cup.

Carter, who also won in 2005 and 2012, now joins team-mate and All Blacks captain Richie McCaw as the only triple winners of the award, which was first given in 2001.

The 33-year-old fly-half will now walk away from the international game after scoring a record 1,598 points from his 112 appearances - including 19 in the Twickenham final.

He is to join French club Racing Metro, where he is reportedly set to become the sport's highest-paid player.

There was more to cheer for the All Blacks as full-back Nehe Milner-Skudder, who scored the opening try of Saturday's final, was named Breakthrough Player of the Year.

Team-mate Julian Savea won Try of the Year for his sensational effort against France in their World Cup quarter-final, when he steamrollered three French defenders for his second try in New Zealand's 62-13 triumph.

The winners were selected by the awards' independent panel of judges, chaired by 1999 World Cup-winning captain John Eales and made up of former internationals, media and World Cup participating teams. REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 03, 2015, with the headline 'Awards add to All Blacks' joy but Cheika's top coach'. Print Edition | Subscribe