Ardie Savea and Andy Farrell take home accolades at World Rugby Awards

Ardie Savea and Andy Farrell take home accolades at World Rugby Awards

All Black Ardie Savea was crowned World Rugby Men's 15s Player of the Year, while Ireland coach Andy Farrell won Coach of the Year at a star-studded World Rugby Awards 2023 ceremony on Sunday.

Just hours after South Africa defeated Savea's All Blacks to lift the Webb Ellis Cup for an historic fourth time at Stade de France, the victorious team reunited to open the spectacular 90-minute show, held at the breathtaking Opéra Garnier in the heart of Paris.

A second memorable rugby showcase in as many nights brought honours for some of the players and coaches who have shone at Rugby World Cup 2023, alongside others who have made an impact over the past 12 months or the course of distinguished careers.

Five Rugby World Cup legends were also inducted into the World Rugby Hall of Fame during the ceremony in Dan Carter (New Zealand), Thierry Dusautoir (France), George Smith (Australia), Juan Martín Hernández (Argentina) and Bryan Habana (South Africa).

Farrell was named World Rugby Coach of the Year, recognising his achievement in leading Ireland's to a Six Nations Grand Slam and top spot in the World Rugby Men's Rankings for 15 months.

Meanwhile, New Zealand winger Mark Tele'a was named the World Rugby Men's 15s Breakthrough Player of the Year.

Savea said: "It's very special. Very blessed and grateful to be up here. I guess for an individual to stand out it's based on the foundation of the team. A massive shout-out to Foz (Ian Foster), skip (captain, Sam Cane) and my brothers this year and the last couple of years, and the journey we've been through.

"I wouldn't say I'm in the same category as those guys (previous winners of the award from New Zealand) - they're legends, but I just try and go out there, fulfil the black jersey and give my best. That's all I can do and I have 14 other brothers next to me doing the same thing.

"What this team has been through not only this year but the past couple of years under Foz has been very special and we would have loved the fairy tale ending last night. It wasn't meant to be but it's a special group of men and I'm so blessed to be able to represent the All Blacks."

World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said: "If Rugby World Cup 2023 was the ultimate party to celebrate our sport's 200th birthday, this memorable evening has surely been the cherry on the cake.

"In the company of generations of great players and servants of the global game, we've been able to celebrate some extraordinary personalities who have lit up stadiums, captured imaginations and contributed to driving rugby forward into a new era.

"As we look to the future, we know that the strength of our sport will remain the exceptional individuals we are fortunate to count as part of our great, global rugby family. I offer both congratulations and thanks to all those honoured tonight."

Of the 11 awards presented in Paris, nine were selected by the star-studded World Rugby Awards panels, while the International Rugby Players Men's Try of the Year was decided by a fan vote on social media.

Nominees and winners in a further four women's categories will be announced and celebrated separately, at the conclusion of the ongoing WXV tournament that represents a major milestone for the sport.

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