Folau wins record third John Eales Medal

Date published: October 26 2017

Wallabies and Waratahs full-back Israel Folau has claimed a record third John Eales Medal, capping off an outstanding Test year.

Folau has topped the medal count, which is voted on by players on a 3-2-1 basis after each Test from the end-of-year tour to the final Bledisloe Cup Test, for the third time in just five seasons in rugby, finishing with 260 votes, ahead of Kurtley Beale (166), Bernard Foley (146), Michael Hooper (142) and Sean McMahon (129)

The full-back, who is set to go on sabbatical after this weekend's Barbarians clash, was one of just four players to have won it twice before this season – along with George Smith, Nathan Sharpe and current skipper Michael Hooper.

Folau trailed flanker David Pocock at the end of the 2016 year-end tour, before a sensational June Series, that included three consecutive doubles for the 28-year-old, put him in front.

Beale's sensational season since returning from England had him right in the reckoning, with the inside back finishing second despite missing half the Test year.

Hooper took the fan's choice Wallaby of the Year, going back-to-back with that gong, while 2017 debutant Ned Hanigan was crowned the Rookie of the Year, ahead of Wallaroos' Millie Boyle, Aussie Sevens' Lachie Anderson and fellow Test debutant Izack Rodda.
 
Chloe Dalton and James Stannard were named the Shawn Mackay Award winners after standout seasons in transition years for both sides.

Liam Wright, a surprise call-up into the Wallabies squad this week, was named the U20s player of the year, beating out Wallabies debutant Jordan Uelese for that prize.

Rebels back-row Amanaki Mafi topped the Super Rugby Player of the Year voting, in an award dominated by forwards, beating nominees Adam Coleman and Allan Alaalatoa. 

Joe Powell's try that lit up the Brumbies clash against the Hurricanes was handed try of the year.