New Zealand have been named the Laureus World Team of the Year while Dan Carter was awarded the comeback of the year in Berlin on Monday.
It was the first time the All Blacks have won the award after six previous nominations. Other nominees this year included the Golden State Warriors from the NBA and Spanish football powerhouse FC Barcelona.
All Blacks coach Steve Hansen and former captain Richie McCaw were on hand to receive the award in Berlin. The award recognised the All Blacks as the first team to ever win back-to-back Rugby World Cup titles after triumphing in New Zealand in 2011 and England in 2015.
"We are a little country from a long way away, so to be nominated and sitting amongst all the people here tonight is amazing. After winning the Rugby World Cup in 2011 we set about a plan to do it back-to-back – which no other team had done," said McCaw.
"To achieve it in October last year was pretty special. You do it not only for yourselves but for the people back home as well. To go home and see how proud they were of the team was pretty special."
All-time leading Test rugby point scorer Carter was recognised with the Comeback of the Year award for returning from injury to produce a match-winning performance in the 2015 Rugby World Cup final.
While humbled by being recognised individually, Carter said he was proud to be a part of the first All Blacks team to win the World Team of the Year award.
"The team was all about creating history. No other nation had won back-to-back World Cups; no other All Blacks side had won a World Cup outside New Zealand, so to be able to achieve that was a pretty proud moment, and yes, it was a pretty special team and I was thankful I was able to be a part of it," he said.