Aussie aces win big at World Rugby Awards

Charlotte Caslick and Marika Koroibete have been rewarded for their efforts this season at the World Rugby Awards in Monaco.

Caslick took home the Women’s Sevens Player of the Year after co-captaining her side to every major international trophy on offer in 2022.

It marked the second time Caslick has won the award having taken it out for the first time in 2016.

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The Australian women’s sevens team won the World Rugby Sevens Series, Commonwealth Games Gold and the Rugby World Cup Sevens.

Caslick was joined by fellow countrywomen Maddison Levi and Faith Nathan in the nominations

“We’ve had a really fun year,” said Caslick.

“Our team is made up of a great group of girls – Maddison Levi and Faith Nathan were also nominated tonight – but the whole squad has been awesome all year.

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“As a group, we’ve reflected on the past eighteen months – especially on our disappointment at the Tokyo Olympics – and we’ve been able to turn it around and have a great season.”

Meanwhile, star Wallabies winger Koroibete was included in the World Rugby Men’s 15s Dream Team of the Year.

The ‘Flying Fijian’ starred earlier in the year for the Wallabies with one of the best try-saving efforts of this year’s Rugby Championship against South Africa at the Adelaide Oval.

“Charlotte and Marika have been Australia’s two most outstanding performers of the 2022 season, and it is fitting that they have been recognized by World Rugby,” said Rugby Australia CEO Andy Marinos.

“Charlotte’s greatness is clear – she is the best women’s Rugby Sevens player in the world, and her consistent excellence on the global stage over a long period marks her as one of Australia’s greatest athletes in any sport.

“Marika has become one of our best players for the Wallabies – while he’s a quiet and unassuming man, you can be sure he will be leading by example from the wing every match.

“Rugby Australia is extremely proud of their achievements, and we congratulate Charlotte and Marika on being recognized as the elite Rugby players in their respective fields.”

Ireland’s Josh van der Flier and New Zealand’s Ruahei Demant took out the world rugby men’s and women’s player of the year scalps respectively.

Van der Flier became just the third Irish player to take the title after Keith Wood in 2001 and Johnny Sexton in 2018.

Van der Flier triumphed over Lukhanyo Am of South Africa, Antoine Dupont of France, and countryman Sexton.

Ireland is expected to end the 2022 season on top of the world rugby standings and go into next year’s Rugby World Cup among the favourites.

Demant edged out Black Ferns teammate Portia Woodman to this year’s title, as well as fellow nominees Sophie de Goede of Canada, Alex Matthews of England and Laure Sansus of France.

The Black Ferns co-captain was part of the team that won this year’s Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.

“Like most of our team, and like many players in New Zealand, I come from a very, very small place,” said Demant.

“And to be able to put on the black jersey it was a dream. I never knew about the Black Ferns growing up as a kid.

“I guess like most women my age, women’s rugby was never accessible, was never something that you kind of aspired to be like, because you never had role models like that to look up to.

“But people could turn on the TV or go to the games and see people that look like them and so many strong women out there doing amazing incredible things.

“We had a great bunch of girls who put their heart and soul and body on the line for everyone, regardless of whether or not they’re playing. So we got the job done. But we also had a great time a lot of fun doing it as well.”

Wayne Smith won world rugby coach of the year for leading the Black Ferns to the Rugby World Cup win.

2022 WORLD RUGBY AWARDS WINNERS:

World Rugby Women’s 15s Player of the Year – Ruahei Demant (New Zealand)

World Rugby Men’s 15s Player of the Year – Josh van der Flier (Ireland)

World Rugby Coach of the Year – Wayne Smith (New Zealand Women’s 15s)

World Rugby Men’s Breakthrough Player of the Year – Ange Capuozzo (Italy)

World Rugby Women’s Breakthrough Player of the Year – Ruby Tui (New Zealand)

World Rugby Men’s Sevens Player of the Year – Terry Kennedy (Ireland)

World Rugby Women’s Sevens Player of the Year – Charlotte Caslick (Australia)

World Rugby Referee Award – Tappe Henning (South Africa)

Vernon Pugh Award for Distinguished Service – Dr. Farah Palmer (New Zealand)

International Rugby Players Special Merit Award – Bryan Habana (South Africa)

International Rugby Players Men’s Try of the Year – Rodrigo Fernandez (Chile, v USA on 9 July)

International Rugby Players Women’s Try of the Year – Abby Dow (England, v Canada on 5 November)

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