The Rugby World Rugby awards took place yesterday in Tokyo following the conclusion of the Rugby on Saturday and here’s all you need to know about who won what.
Firstly Springbok flanker Pieter-Steph du Toit picked up the men’s player of the year award to add to his World Cup medal that he collected 24 hours earlier after the Boks crushing 32-12 victory over England in the final. In winning the award he became the third South African to do so following in the steps of Schalk Burger and Bryan Habana.
While in the women’s category there was some joy for England as Emily Scarratt was handed the player of the year award for 2019 following an impressive year which saw her lift the Six Nations Grand Slam title with the Red Roses.
In the coach of the year category there was further Springbok joy as head coach Rassie Erasmus received the award after doing an amazing job during his 18-month stint with the country turning their fortunes completely around, guiding them to victory in a shortened Rugby Championship and the World Cup this year.
With that in mind it was no surprise that the Boks dominance on the awards night continued with another win in the team of the year category as they saw off competition from Japan, England, New Zealand and Wales with captain Siya Kolisi collecting the award on behalf of his teammates.
English hearts were broken once again when France’s Romain Ntamack pipped winger Joe Cokansiga and South Africa’s Herschel Jantjies to the breakthrough player of the year award.
However, England did have the consolation of coming out on top in the referee category as Wayne Barnes received acknowledgement for his efforts as the man in the middle.
New Zealand picked up one award on the night as scrum-half TJ Perenara claimed the try of the year for that stunning score against Namibia in the World Cup group stages.
Lastly, Ireland’s Jamie Heaslip, a former 95-cap international was handed the International Rugby Players’ special merit award on what was a memorable night in Japan to close out the impressive World Cup that the country has hosted.
Cheika Lands Surprise New Job
Michael Cheika’s future has been talked about since his departure from the Wallabies set-up, but he has now confirmed what he will do in the short-term
Former Wallabies head coach Michael Cheika has decided to take a role with Rugby League side the Sydney Roosters on a short-term basis.
The 52-year-old has been out of work since leaving the Wallabies set-up following their quarter-final exit at the recent Rugby World Cup. However, it has now been confirmed by the Daily Telegraph that he will make the cross-code switch to the Roosters.
Cheika will come in as a coaching advisor and links up with long-time friend Trent Robinson, who is currently the Roosters head coach and he is delighted to have Cheika on board.
“He is helping push myself and the assistant coaches to improve and challenging our ideas and helping push us again in 2020,” he said.
Cheika himself has admitted he is enjoying his time with the squad as they look to defend their back-to-back NRL championship titles.
“I’ve loved it. I was really honoured that they thought I could contribute. I want to make sure the stuff I’m doing is contributing the way Trent wants me to,” he said.
There were reports ever since the conclusion of the World Cup linking Cheika with a role at French Top 14 side Montpellier, but that position was filled this week and this new role sees him being able to remain in Sydney for a while longer and only work with the Roosters one day a week.
He will be hoping that this experience will help boost his CV for his next role in rugby whether that be league or union in the long-run.
Jackson Calls Full Time on Refereeing Career
Glen Jackson has called time on his career as a referee after an eventful career on the pitch
Referee Glen Jackson has confirmed that he has decided to call time on his professional refereeing career.
Jackson, who was a former Maori All Black during his playing days will continue to support the New Zealand refereeing group up until March, but hopes to continue his journey in rugby in a different role.
“I feel extremely privileged to have worked as a professional referee for New Zealand Rugby over the last 10 years but I feel the time is right to finish and move onto something different but hopefully still be involved with rugby. I would like to thank Lyndon Bray and Bryce Lawrence for everything they have done for me and their support in making this decision. I think New Zealand refereeing is in a positive space with great leaders and fantastic young referees who I will miss working with,” he said.
As a referee Jackson started in 2010 and quickly rose through the ranks going on to take charge of his first Super Rugby game in 2011 and his first test match the following year.
In total he has taken charge of almost 200 matches in the past ten years including 32 international test games.
That time on the pitch followed his time as a player, and between the two he has been involved on either side of the whistle for 25 years.
During his refereeing career he was named New Zealand Referee of the Year on five occasions and became the first New Zealander to play and referee 100 matches.
Hopefully he can remain in the game in some capacity and be as successful as he has been in the past at whatever he does in the future.
Connacht Update Ahead of Leinster Clash
Connacht have provided an injury update ahead of their PRO14 game with Leinster this weekend and head coach Andy Friend has also had his say on Paddy McAllister’s citing dismissal
With Irish duo Bundee Aki and Jack Carty currently on a two-week mandatory lay-off, as well as three players undergoing the return to play protocols for HIA’s and 12 further squad members injured Friend has admitted that they haven’t even been able to put 30 men through training this week.
“We had 28 today but that was with four academy boys and two other fellas who we have got here training. We are skinny. It’s not ideal but when we travelled to South Africa we travelled with 26 players. Whenever we are under 30 I just say ‘imagine we’re in South Africa’, because we had two wins over there against the Kings and Cheetahs,” he said while speaking to the42.
However, there is a possibility that prop Paddy McAllister may be involved after his citing for a dangerous tackle during last weekend’s loss to Ulster was dismissed.
He is currently under return to play procedure for a head injury, but if he comes through he should be able to play and speaking on the decision to dismiss his citing Friend believes it is not only good for Connacht but for the sport.
“I think it’s brilliant news. I think it’s great for Paddy and for Connacht, but I think it’s actually good for rugby. I totally get that we need to protect the player, but we play a collision sport where accidents do happen. You can’t have two big guys running into each other, trying to hit each other with their heads. There is no future in that. But sometimes you get collisions when that just happens,” he added.
He went on to defend McAllister and claimed that the player himself was upset over the possibility of people thinking that he had deliberately fouled Marcell Coetzee.
“I know Paddy was really remorseful for what happened and I know he spoke to Marcell post-game. He was disappointed that people were thinking that it was a deliberate act because that’s not Paddy McAllister. He’s a hell of a man, a gentleman in his own right. He is not a foul player. He was gutted that people were thinking that was deliberate. But there was a lot of work behind the scenes put in on his behalf,” he finished up.
Friend will be hoping that McAllister will be available for selection come Saturday as his team take on the current PRO14 Conference A leaders, who have been in rampant form so far this season and can produce results even with a weakened team as they proved last weekend away to Munster.
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