Black Ferns co-captain Ruahei Demant scooped three major prizes at the NZ Rugby awards, including the supreme Kelvin R Tremain Memorial Player of the Year, on Thursday night.
First five-eighth Demant, who led the Black Ferns to the defense of their World Cup title when they beat England 34-31 in the final in Auckland last month, became just the third woman to win the Tremain award, which is awarded to New Zealand’s best player each season.
She joins previous winners, Black Ferns team-mates Sarah Hirini and Kendra Cocksedge, in having her name engraved on the celebrated trophy.
In addition, Demant (Tē Whānau ā Apanui/Te Whakatōhea / Ngāti Awa) was named Black Ferns Player of the Year, and Tom French Memorial Māori Player of the Year.
* Sevens star Ruby Tui named in first Black Ferns squad of the year ahead of Rugby World Cup
* Black Ferns sevens skipper Sarah Hirini named New Zealand Rugby’s Player of Year
* All Blacks coach Ian Foster in the running for New Zealand coach of the year
Demant and her Black Ferns teammates were also recognized for a remarkable turnaround in form, having lost four tests to England and France late last year, to be bestowed with the New Zealand Team of the Year award.
NZ Rugby CEO Mark Robinson praised the Black Ferns for overcoming the odds to beat tournament favorites England in the final at a packed-out Eden Park.
“It’s fitting that the Black Ferns were named as our New Zealand Team of the Year and that their co-captain Ruahei Demant has been deservedly recognized for her outstanding contribution to her team, to Māori rugby and to the game in Aotearoa,” Robinson said.
The players and the cup, now named Nancy, were greeted by hundreds of fans.
“Ruahei and the Black Ferns team have epitomized the values of our game in 2022.”
Black Ferns coach Wayne Smith capped off a memorable season for the women’s game by receiving the New Zealand Coach of the Year award.
That was a nod to the huge impact he made after being appointed as the Black Ferns director of coaching in April after former coach Glenn Moore resigned.
Last month the Black Ferns also won several gongs at the World Rugby awards in Monaco, with Demant named Women’s 15s Player of the Year. Smith was named Coach of the Year, while wing Ruby Tui took the prize for Women’s 15s Breakthrough player of the Year.
No 8 Ardie Savea was rewarded for his consistent performances to be bestowed with the All Blacks Player of the Year award for the second year running at the NZ Rugby presentations. He got the nod ahead of Jordie Barrett, Samisoni Taukei’aho and Sam Whitelock.
Ngarohi McGarvey-Black and Michaela Blyde won the Richard Crawshaw Memorial All Blacks Sevens Player of the Year, and Black Ferns Sevens Player of the Year awards.
The Canterbury region featured heavily, with Crusaders fullback Will Jordan named Super Rugby Pacific Player of the Year and Crusaders coach Scott Robertson winning the National Men’s Coach of the Year, after guiding the team to another title.
Robertson was picked ahead of Wellington’s Leo Crowley and South Canterbury’s Nigel Walsh.
Following an outstanding season the Wellington Lions were awarded the National Men’s Team of the Year award, having secured the NPC title and the Ranfurly Shield.
Canterbury won the National Women’s Team of the Year after winning the Farah Palmer Cup.
North Harbor first-five eighth Bryn Gatland claimed the Duane Monkley Medal as the NPC’s best player.
Up and coming loose forward, Peter Lakai has won the New Zealand Rugby Age Grade Player of the Year.
Ngāti Porou East Coast halfback Sam Parkes, received the Ian Kirkpatrick Medal for outstanding contribution on behalf of professional players both on and off the field.
Former All Blacks doctor Deb Robinson received the Steinlager Salver, which recognizes “outstanding services to rugby”.
“I would also like to acknowledge Dr Deb Robinson, whose immense contribution to rugby has been recognized with the Steinlager Salver,” Mark Robinson stated.
“Deb has been an asset to all the teams she’s been involved with and has earned the unquestioned trust of her players and management through the professionalism, knowledge and care she has maintained throughout.”
2022 Rugby Awards
Kelvin R Tremain Memorial Player of the Year: Ruahei Demant (Auckland)
Black Ferns Player of the Year: Ruahei Demant
Tom French Memorial Māori Player of the Year: Ruahei Demant (Tē Whānau ā Apanui / Te Whakatōhea / Ngāti Awa)
New Zealand Team of the Year: Black Ferns
New Zealand Coach of the Year: Wayne Smith (Black Ferns)
All Blacks Player of the Year: Ardie Savea
Try of the Year: Stacey Fluhler (Black Ferns v England)
Steinlager Salver – Outstanding contribution to New Zealand Rugby: Dr Deb Robinson
Super Rugby Aupiki Player of the Year: Luka Connor (Chiefs Manawa)
Super Rugby Pacific Player of the Year: Will Jordan (Crusaders)
National Women’s Team of the Year: Canterbury
National Men’s Team of the Year: Wellington
Black Ferns Sevens Player of the Year: Michaela Blyde
Richard Crawshaw Memorial All Blacks Sevens Player of the Year: Ngarohi McGarvey-Black
National Women’s Coach of the Year: Blair Baxter (Canterbury)
National Men’s Coach of the Year: Scott Robertson (Crusaders)
Fiao’o Faamausili Medal: Maia Joseph (Otago)
Duane Monkley Medal: Bryn Gatland (North Harbour)
Ian Kirkpatrick Medal: Sam Parkes (Ngāti Porou East Coast)
New Zealand Rugby Age Grade Player of the Year: Peter Lakai (Wellington)
Charles Monro Rugby Volunteer of the Year: Cathy Charles (Otago)
New Zealand Rugby Referee of the Year: Ben O’Keeffe (Auckland)