Ardie Savea voted All Blacks Player of the Year

Date published: December 15 2021 - Planet Rugby

New Zealand and Hurricanes number eight Ardie Savea has been crowned All Blacks Player of the Year at their end-of-year awards ceremony.

The 28-year-old has been in destructive form over the past 12 months as he led from the front in what has been an up and down campaign for the All Blacks.

But the powerful back-row forward never dipped in performance and is hugely deserving of the honour as he claims the award from 2020 winner, Sam Cane.

Savea was named over other nominees, full-back Jordie Barrett (Taranaki), centre Rieko Ioane (Auckland) and wing Will Jordan (Tasman), on Wednesday.

Three gongs for Sarah Hirini

Black Ferns Sevens captain Sarah Hirini was the star of the evening, however, as she collected three prizes, including the Kelvin R. Tremain Memorial Player of the Year. Hirini also claimed the Black Ferns Sevens Player of the Year award and became a two-time winner of the Tom French Memorial Māori Player of the Year prize.

Other gongs went to Taranaki second-row Josh Lord, who claimed the New Zealand Rugby Age Grade Player of the Year. He made his All Blacks bow in 2021.

Meanwhile, wing Sevu Reece picked up the Try of the Year for a delightful team score against Wales in Cardiff that saw quick handling set him up for the score. The Crusaders won the National Team of the Year, with Richie Mo’unga Super Rugby’s best player.

“Congratulations to all the winners, and nominees, this evening. We have seen some incredible performances on the rugby field in 2021, none more exhilarating than the Black Ferns Sevens Olympic gold medal-winning performance in Tokyo,” NZR CEO Mark Robinson told the All Blacks’ website.

“It’s fitting that the Black Ferns Sevens were named as our adidas New Zealand Team of the Year and that their leader has been deservedly recognised for her outstanding contribution to her team, to Māori rugby and to the game in Aotearoa. Sarah has been the standard bearer for our game in 2021.

“I would also like to acknowledge Anna Richards, whose immense contribution to rugby has been recognised with the Steinlager Salver. Anna has undoubtedly inspired a generation of women to play our game.

“It is wonderful to see women’s rugby leading the charge as we head toward next year’s Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.”

2021 ASB Rugby Awards (winners in bold)

New Zealand Rugby Referee of the Year
James Doleman (Otago)
Ben O’Keeffe (Auckland)
Tiana Ngawati (Bay of Plenty)

Charles Monro Rugby Volunteer of the Year
Paul Batters (Counties Manukau)
Peter Chaplin (Canterbury)
Greg Heller (Otago)

Steinlager Salver
Anna Richards (Auckland)

NZRPA Kirk Award
Melodie Robinson (Auckland)

New Zealand Rugby Age Grade Player of the Year
Chay Fihaki (Canterbury)
Josh Lord (Taranaki)
Soane Vikena (Auckland)

Bunnings Warehouse Heartland Championship Player of the Year
Hone Haerewa (Ngāti Porou East Coast)
Willie Wright (South Canterbury)
Stefan Destounis (Poverty Bay)

Duane Monkley Medal
Lincoln McClutchie (Hawke’s Bay)
Stephen Perofeta (Taranaki)
Luke Romano (Canterbury)

Fiao’o Faamausili Medal
Grace Houpapa-Barrett (Waikato)
Krystal Murray (Northland)
Joanah Ngan-Woo (Wellington)

ASB National Coach of the Year
Neil Barnes (Taranaki NPC)
Ross Filipo (Waikato NPC)
Scott Robertson (Crusaders)
James Semple (Waikato FPC)

Sky Super Rugby Player of the Year
Richie Mo’unga (Canterbury)
Dalton Papalii (Counties Manukau)
Aaron Smith (Manawatū)

Tom French Memorial Māori Player of the Year
Ash Dixon (Hawke’s Bay)
Sarah Hirini (Manawatū)
Aaron Smith (Manawatū)

Richard Crawshaw Memorial All Blacks Sevens Player of the Year
Scott Curry (Bay of Plenty)
Andrew Knewstubb (Tasman)
Ngarohi McGarvey-Black (Ngāti Porou East Coast)

Black Ferns Sevens Player of the Year
Gayle Broughton (Taranaki)
Sarah Hirini (Manawatū)
Tyla Nathan-Wong (Northland)

Black Ferns Player of the Year
Les Elder (Bay of Plenty)
Kennedy Simon (Waikato)
Liana Mikaele-Tu’u (Auckland)

All Blacks Player of the Year
Jordie Barrett (Taranaki)
Rieko Ioane (Auckland)
Will Jordan (Tasman)
Ardie Savea (Wellington)

adidas National Team of the Year
South Canterbury
Waikato FPC
Waikato NPC

Kelvin R Tremain Memorial Player of the Year
Sarah Hirini (Manawatū)