Kieran Read wins IRB player of the year

All Blacks and Crusaders vice captain Kieran Read has been named the International Rugby Board’s Player of the Year for 2013.

New Zealand rugby claimed a triple scoop on the awards as the All Blacks were
also named team of the year while coach of the year went to Steve Hansen.

The IRB’s annual award winners were announced following an unprecedented
year for the All Blacks with 14 wins from 14 Test matches to remain unbeaten
in 2013.

New Zealand Rugby Chairman Mike Eagle and Chief Executive Steve Tew congratulated
Kieran Read, Steve Hansen and the All Blacks for the accolades after a spectacular
year.

Mike Eagle said,”This is fantastic recognition of a very special team.
We are very proud of what Steve, Kieran and the team have achieved in 2013 as
they have worked hard to be the best, and we congratulate them on these awards.”

Steve Tew said: “It’s been an outstanding year for the All Blacks
and a great year to be an All Blacks fan, and we are very proud of what skipper
Richie (McCaw) and the team has achieved.

“Kieran deserves particular acknowledgement for the remarkable season
he has put in both on and off the field. The fact this is Steve’s second
straight Coach of the Year award is also significant and deserves our congratulations.

“These awards are a reflection of the effort and commitment the All Blacks
have shown in 2013 to be the best in the world and they can now head into a
well-earned summer break with a high degree of satisfaction,” he said.

His influence has been huge, as demonstrated by his workload in the scrum,
lineout, his tackling, his ability to compete in the air and at the breakdown,
not to mention the tendency to be in the right place at the right time when
it comes to creating or scoring tries.

He has played 61 Tests for New Zealand, the majority of them in the back row
alongside Richie McCaw, and is now the most prolific try-scoring number 8 in
world Rugby.

Read is the third New Zealander to be named IRB Player of the Year, following
in the footsteps of teammates Dan Carter (2005 and 2012) and Richie McCaw (2006,
2009 and 2010).

He edged out Eben Etzebeth (South Africa), Leigh Halfpenny (Wales), Sergio
Parisse (Italy) and Ben Smith (New Zealand) for the award in a closely fought
contest during a year of spectacular performances on the international stage.

The awards may not end here, with the Steinlager Rugby Awards also to be announced
at a formal event in Auckland on Thursday. Kieran Read has been nominated for
the Kel Tremain Player of the Year Award, Steve Hansen has been nominated for
Coach of the Year and the All Blacks have been nominated for Team of the Year.

Previous Player of the Year awards:
Dan Carter (2012),
Thierry Dusautoir (11),
Richie McCaw (10/09),
Shane Williams (08),
Bryan Habana (07)

More to follow.

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