KSA Shark ©

Williams gets IRB Player of the Year

Written by Andre Bosch (KSA Shark ©)

Posted in :In the news on 24 Nov 2008 at 07:22
Tagged with : , , ,

Wales wing Shane Williams has been named the International Rugby Board Player of the Year for 2008. He received the prize at the IRB Awards ceremony in association with Emirates Airline, which was held in London on Sunday evening.

The IRB reports that the 31-year-old, who scored six tries during the 2008 Six Nations to break the Wales all-time try scoring record, is the first Welshman to pick up the most prestigious individual award on the Rugby calendar.

Williams fought off stiff competition from New Zealand fly half and 2005 IRB Player of the Year Dan Carter, his Wales teammate Ryan Jones, Scotland scrum half Mike Blair and Italy captain Sergio Parisse to win the nomination from the IRB Awards judging panel convened by double Rugby World Cup winner John Eales.

“It’s quite mad to be honest,” said Williams moments after receiving the award. “It’s been a hell of a year and this has just capped it off really. It’s the biggest honour you can get as an individual in rugby and it’s totally overwhelming.”

On an evening of celebration and reflection at the ceremony hosted at Old Billingsgate, Williams’ success prevented a clean-sweep for New Zealand of the top awards as New Zealand reclaimed the IRB Team of the Year award while Graham Henry was named IRB Coach of the Year.

New Zealand multiple winners

For the All Blacks and Henry, the awards cap a tremendous year that saw the team bounce back from a disappointing Rugby World Cup to win the Tri Nations in 2008. To date New Zealand has a record 12 wins from 14 Test matches with the possibility of a successful grand slam tour of the northern hemisphere on the cards if they beat England at Twickenham on November 29.

“It’s been very satistfying,” said Henry reflecting on the year and his award. “There have been 15 or so players who left us after the Rugby World Cup to play in this part of the world so it’s great to have a team that’s relatively young and inexperienced come through and do the business.”

Continuing a successful evening for New Zealand, DJ Forbes was named IRB Sevens Player of the Year. A key player in New Zealand’s dominance of the eight-round Grand Prix style Series, captain Forbes led by example, scoring 130 points as his side claimed the title for the eighth time in nine seasons.

New Zealand’s evening of awards was rounded off with promising talent Luke Braid winning the IRB Junior Player of the Year. The new category, introduced to reflect performances at the IRB Junior World Championship which made its debut in 2008, was hugely competitive with Braid facing stiff competition from teammate Chris Smith and England’s Joe Simpson for the prestigious age grade accolade.

More Awards winners

The International Rugby Players’ Association (IRPA) Special Merit award went to former Argentina captain Agustin Pichot. This was in recognition for his tremendous service to the Game on and off the field and in particular his role over the last decade in helping drive Argentina into the top five of the world. The IRPA Try of the Year was awarded to the Irish team and Brian O’Driscoll who scored a wonderful try against Australia in June.

The IRB Women’s Personality of the Year was awarded to Carol Isherwood OBE, one of the driving forces behind England’s success on and off the field over the past decade and a champion of the global development of the Women’s Game. The IRB Referee Award for Distinguished Service was awarded to 1999 and 2003 Rugby World Cup final referee and SA Rugby Referee Manager Andre Watson.

The Vernon Pugh Award for Distinguished Service went to former Australia international Sir Nicolas Shehadie OBE, the Spirit of Rugby Award was presented to Roelien Muller and Patrick Cotter, organisers of the Phuket 10s who raise funds for orphans of the 2004 Tsunami. The IRB Development Award was given to the TAG Rugby Development Trust who introduce thousands of children to Rugby in Africa and India each year through the non-contact form of the Game.

The ceremony also saw the announcement of five inductees into the IRB Hall of Fame. Established in 2006 to chronicle the achievements and the special contribution of Rugby’s players, coaches, administrators, match officials, institutions and individuals, the 2008 inductees are; 1888 Natives Team of New Zealand and their captain Joe Warbrick, Melrose Club and Ned Haig, British Lions legend Dr Jack Kyle, Argentina great Hugo Porta and France’s record breaker Philippe Sella.

IRB Awards 2008

IRB Player of the Year: Shane Williams (Wales)

IRB Team of the Year: New Zealand

IRB Coach of the Year: Graham Henry (New Zealand)

IRB Junior Player of the Year: Luke Braid (New Zealand)

IRB Sevens Player of the Year: DJ Forbes (New Zealand)

Spirit of Rugby Award: Roelien Muller and Patrick Cotter

Vernon Pugh Award for Distinguished Service: Sir Nicholas Shehadie

IRB Referee Award for Distinguished Service: Andre Watson

IRB International Women’s Personality of the Year: Carol Isherwood

IRB Development Award: Tag Rugby Development Trust and Martin Hansford

IRPA Special Merit Award: Agustin Pichot

IRPA Try of the Year: Brian O’Driscoll, Australia v Ireland

IRB Hall of Fame inductees: 1888 Natives Team of New Zealand & Joe Warbrick, Melrose & Ned Haig, Dr Jack Kyle, Hugo Porta and Philippe Sella.


  • No Seff Effricens!!

  • Comment 1, posted at 24.11.08 07:44:11 by Baldrick Reply
    BaldrickCurrie Cup player
  • Only ONE Southern Hemisphere player even nominated.

    The must have read the new book “How to ensure the SH wins nothing”

  • Comment 2, posted at 24.11.08 07:45:59 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
  • Let them have their ‘moment of glory’

    We all know Shame Williams was NOT the best player in 2008. :roll:

  • Comment 3, posted at 24.11.08 07:52:24 by wpw Reply
    wpwAssistant coach
  • What is ‘Spirit of Rugby Award’?

  • Comment 4, posted at 24.11.08 10:15:49 by McLovin Reply

    McLovinAssistant coach
  • Try of the year- Adi Jacobs at HQ this weekend

  • Comment 5, posted at 24.11.08 10:19:07 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
    robdylanHead Coach
  • @wpw (Comment 3) : It’s a fix. :evil:

  • Comment 6, posted at 24.11.08 10:21:08 by McLovin Reply

    McLovinAssistant coach
  • @McLovin (Comment 4) :

    SW should have gotten that one!! :wink:

  • Comment 7, posted at 24.11.08 10:23:03 by Ice (Bébé de Glace) Reply
    Competition Winner Author
    IceAssistant coach
  • @Ice (Bébé de Glace) (Comment 7) : Yes. They’ve got my vote. :smile:

  • Comment 8, posted at 24.11.08 10:25:02 by McLovin Reply

    McLovinAssistant coach
  • Mensig, maar was dit nou vir jou ’n erg plesierige naweek!

    En dit nadat ons vooraf só negatief was dat ons eintlik die middag eerder perdespring of onderwatermandjievleg wou kyk.

    Nee wat, nou is ons mos weer die wêreldkampioene, ou Divvie weer die beste afrigter sedert Oubaas Mark, die skeidsregter die oulikste ding sedert die gloeilamp uitgevind is, Ruan ’n gebore losskakel en die Afrika-eie voorry van Beast, Chilliboy en Mujati die sterkste kombinasie sedert Hercules, Simson en Troy in 1964 vir Diggers in die voorry gesak het.

    En ja, na dese is elke veldslag in die Boere-oorlog nou gewreek. Dis nou nog net Brandfort, Bloemfontein en Koffiefontein se kampe wat oorbly, dan kan ons maar die Ingelse vergewe. Jislaaik, en ons manne het so rof en onbeskof met die spul Ingelse gewerk dat ek nie eers mooi opgelet het waar die ou Springbokkie op die trui gesit het nie, maar soos dit my gelyk het was hy oral. Soos ’n swerm bye op Ritalin oral oor daai Bleekbene.

    Neef Bartel sê daar’s wat hom betref nog ’n ander opsie en dis om nou maar ons manne se harte saam met ou Bokkie na die regterbors toe te skuif.

    “Ek het nie so ’n groot probleem met Bokkie op die regterbors en Sasol op die pens nie, maar ons weet mos dis net die dun punt van die wig,” reken hy. “Volgende wat ons sien is hy wat ou Bokkie is helfte kleiner, dan skuif hy na die mou toe om vir nog ’n blom of ’n borg plek te maak, dan rug toe, dan op die broek, dan onder diep dekking in die onderbroek in, daarna is hy op die kous en as ons weer onse oë uitvee, het hy in die skoen en in die vergetelheid verdwyn!

    “En dan is Luke weer in die span en sommer kaptein as ons in die kwalifiserende rondes vir toelating tot die Wêreldbeker van 2015 teen Kenia, Chili en Kazakstan speel.”


  • Comment 9, posted at 24.11.08 10:30:06 by Ice (Bébé de Glace) Reply
    Competition Winner Author
    IceAssistant coach
  • @Ice (Bébé de Glace) (Comment 9) : these guys just can’t resist, can they?

    Icey, please don’t post this kind of thing again, if you don’t mind? The political agenda is crystal clear.

  • Comment 10, posted at 24.11.08 10:49:33 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
    robdylanHead Coach
  • @robdylan (Comment 10) :

    No prob! :wink:

  • Comment 11, posted at 24.11.08 10:51:13 by Ice (Bébé de Glace) Reply
    Competition Winner Author
    IceAssistant coach
  • @robdylan (Comment 10) :

    I guess I sometimes just see the funny side of things (how it’s written) an look past the political…no harm intended.. :oops:

  • Comment 12, posted at 24.11.08 10:53:57 by Ice (Bébé de Glace) Reply
    Competition Winner Author
    IceAssistant coach
  • @Ice (Bébé de Glace) (Comment 12) : sorry to seem like a killjoy, but the line is a fine one and this is on the wrong side of it, IMO

  • Comment 13, posted at 24.11.08 10:56:54 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
    robdylanHead Coach
  • @robdylan (Comment 13) :

    You say I am from the wrong side of the railway line??? :twisted: :mrgreen:

    hey…I’ll go with YO… :wink:

  • Comment 14, posted at 24.11.08 10:59:59 by Ice (Bébé de Glace) Reply
    Competition Winner Author
    IceAssistant coach
  • @McLovin (Comment 4) :

    Am not sure, but the Roelien Muller who won it is involved with aid organisations in Asia and funds from the Phuket 10′s in Thailand (where she is involved) go to tsunami victims.

    Am curious about her heritage, but can’t find anything.

  • Comment 15, posted at 24.11.08 11:08:01 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©Head Coach

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