Fourie du Preez was on Monday named as the South African Player of the Year for the second time. The Blue Bulls scrumhalf captured the crown at the end of a fabulous domestic season, during which teams he represented won every available prize.
Rugby 365 reports that Du Preez – who won the award for the first time in 2006 – claimed the Super 14 and Currie Cup titles with his province as well as helping the Springboks to the No.1 world ranking in conjunction with the Tri-Nations title and victory in the series against the British and Irish Lions.
Du Preez’s sublime performances saw him claim the award ahead of some outstanding competition.
Also nominated were newcomers Morné Steyn – who kicked a succession of title-winning goals – back row sensation Heinrich Brüssow, Springbok captain John Smit and lock Victor Matfield – who lined up with Du Preez in every title-winning team.
“They were any number of outstanding Springbok performers who could have been among the nominations,” said Mark Alexander, Deputy President of the South African Rugby Union at the event.
“It’s a tribute to the sustained excellence of Fourie’s play that he was chosen by the media for this prestigious award. There are very few players in world rugby who can claim to be as influential as he is.”
Brüssow was named as Young Player of the Year; the Springboks were Team of the Year and Peter de Villiers was chosen as Coach of the Year among the other main awards, which are voted for by journalists. Morné Steyn was selected by his peers as Players’ Player of the Year.
Steyn collected three awards in total as the Blue Bulls flyhalf was also named as Test Player of the Series against the British & Irish Lions, while his record-breaking performances for the Bulls’ in their march to the Super 14 title earned him the player of the competition award.
Brüssow also claimed a second award as Provincial Player of the South Africa 2009 Lions Series, following his performance for the Free State Cheetahs that helped propel him into the Springbok team.
Full list of award winners:
SA Player of the Year – Fourie du Preez (Blue Bulls)
Players’ Player of the Year – Morné Steyn (Blue Bulls)
Young Player of the Year – Heinrich Brüssow (Free State Cheetahs)
Test player of the B&I Lions Series – Morné Steyn (Blue Bulls)
Provincial player of the B&I Lions Series – Heinrich Brüssow (Free State Cheetahs)
Team of the Year – The Springboks
Coach of the Year – Peter de Villiers
Super 14 Player of the Year – Morné Steyn (Bulls)
Curie Cup Premier Division Player of the Year – Luke Watson (Western Province)
First Division Player of the Year – Allistair Kettledas (Pumas)
SuperSport Try of the Year – Jaque Fourie, 2nd Test v British & Irish Lions (Loftus Versfeld)
Sevens Player of the Year – Frankie Horne
SA Under-20 Player of the Year – Lionel Cronjé (Free State Cheetahs)
Vodacom Cup Player of the Year – Jonathan Mokuena (Griquas)
Club Champs Player of the Year – Dustin Jinka (Hamilton)
Women’s Rugby Achiever of the Year – Saloma Booysen (Eastern Province)
Refereeing Achievement of the Year – Jonathan Kaplan
Craven Week Player of the Tournament – Andile Jho (Border)