Cape Town – After a year of inspiring performances that contributed to good results in various competitions, Springbok centurion Eben Etzebeth has been voted SA Rugby’s Player of the Year for 2022.
Other players who snatched awards were Canan Moodie who won the Young Player of the Year award and Nadine Roos who was named the Springbok Women’s Player of the Year.
This was Etzebeth’s first player of the year award since making his Test debut in 2012. The 31-year-old lock also reached a landmark by making his 100th Test appearance against Wales in July.
“Eben has been a Springbok stalwart for more than a decade and it’s just amazing to see how he keeps getting better with age, playing with maturity and providing valuable leadership to the Springboks,” said Mark Alexander, President of SA Rugby.
“The Boks are building on depth and experience with an eye on the Rugby World Cup later this year, and I think they are in a good space under the coaching of Jacques Nienaber and the captaincy of Siya, but Eben’s role can’t be underestimated as he is not only the most experienced member of the squad, but he also sets the example for younger players and was widely regarded as one of the best players on the planet last year.”
Moodie, while still under the age of 20, made his Springbok debut against Australia in Sydney, capping it off with a try.
Canan Moodie against Australia 😮💨 https://t.co/DOveCfQnDK pic.twitter.com/yjGHcORIbB
— Amazing Vheriwa (@amazingvheriwa1) January 8, 2023
Springbok Women’s Player of the Year, Nadine Roos competed in two ruby World Cups, one with the national XV side and the other with the sevens team. Her performances saw her included in the World Rugby Dream Team after the RWC Sevens in Cape Town in September.
forward JC Pretorius won the award for Springbok Sevens Player of the Year, while Feinberg-Mngomezulu was named Junior Springbok Player of the Year after leading the SA Under-20s to a clean sweep of four wins in the Six Nations U20 Summer Series in Italy.
“Looking at the quality of young talent coming through, Canan was deservedly voted as the Young Player of the Year, but the other names of the list of nominees are all expected to still make a major mark on South African rugby, which bodes very well for the future,” Alexander said.
“The winners in the other categories for our national teams, Nadine, JC and Sacha, all deserve these accolades after superb performances during the season. Starring in XVs and sevens takes some doing and Nadine never missed a beat; JC was a constant star for the Blitzboks; and Sacha is another one of the upcoming crop of future stars,” he added.
The #SARugbyAwards winners for 2022 are out and Springbok centurion @EbenEtzebeth is the SA Rugby Player of the Year – more here: https://t.co/a76Z3oUS71 🇿🇦#StrongerTogether #StrongerForever pic.twitter.com/c3cYU16UXN
— Springboks (@Springboks) January 31, 2023
Winners of the Vodacom United Rugby Championship, the DHL Stormers were voted Team of the Year, and John Dobson took the award for Coach of the Year.
Sebastian de Klerk, who scored eight tries from outside centre during the Carling Currie Cup season, walked away with the Premier Division Player of the Year award.
“I would also like to congratulate John and the DHL Stormers on their magnificent achievement in winning the Vodacom URC, as well as Sebastian, Jaywinn and Lusanda for leading the way in our very tough provincial competitions,” Alexander said.
The winners and finalists (where applicable) for 2022 are:
SA Rugby Player of the Year: Eben Etzebeth
Finalists: Lukhanyo Am, Kurt-Lee Arendse, Siya Kolisi, Frans Malherbe
SA Rugby Young Player of the Year: Canan Moodie (Springboks / Vodacom Bulls)
Finalists: Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu (Junior Springboks / South Africa ‘A’ / DHL Stormers), Jaden Hendrikse (Springboks / Cell C Sharks), Evan Roos (Springboks / DHL Stormers), Henco van Wyk (South Africa ‘A’ / Emirates Lions)
Springbok Women’s Player of the Year: Nadine Roos
Finalists: Lusanda Dumke, Aseza Hele, Zintle Mpupha, Aphiwe Ngwevu
Springbok Sevens Player of the Year: JC Pretorius
Finalists: Selvyn Davids, Zain Davids
Junior Springbok Player of the Year: Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu
Finalists: Suleiman Hartzenberg, Ruan Venter
Team of the Year: DHL Stormers
Finalists: Airlink Pumas, Springboks
Coach of the Year: John Dobson (DHL Stormers)
Finalists: Jacques Nienaber (Springboks), Jimmy Stonehouse (Airlink Pumas)
Carling Currie Cup Premier Division Player of the Year: Sebastian de Klerk (Airlink Pumas)
Finalists: Willie Engelbrecht (Airlink Pumas), Devon Williams (Airlink Pumas)
Carling Currie Cup First Division Player of the Year: Jaywinn Juries (Down Touch Griffons)
Finalists: Jaiden Baron (Boland Kavaliers), Duan Pretorius (Down Touch Griffons)
Provincial Women’s Player of the Year: Lusanda Dumke (Border Ladies)
OUTsurance Referee of the Year: Aimee Barrett-Theron
Vodacom United Rugby Championship Player of the Season (announced last year): Evan Roos (DHL Stormers)
Finalists: Lukhanyo Am (Cell C Sharks), Marcell Coetzee (Vodacom Bulls), Warrick Gelant (DHL Stormers), Ruan Nortje (Vodacom Bulls), Vincent Tshituka
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Picture: SA Rugby
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Compiled by Junaid Benjamin