Carter wins World Player of the Year gong

Dan Carter celebrates winning the Rugby World Cup

New Zealand fly half Dan Carter has been named Rugby World Player of the Year making him the second All Blacks to win the title three times.

Thirty-three-year-old fly-half Carter also won the award in 2005 and 2012 and won man of the match in the All Blacks 34-17 victory over Australia in the Rugby World Cup final.

All Black Carter has now retired from playing international rugby after winning his 112th appearance for New Zealand.

Carter joins his All Blacks captain Richie McCaw as the only other player who has won the World Player of the year award three times.

The list of past winners include Thierry Dusautoir, Bryan Habana and Jonny Wilkinson.

At the same event New Zealand were also named Team of the Year after becoming the first nation to successfully defend the World Cup.

Australia coach Michael Cheika received the Coach of the Year accolade after transforming the Wallabies in his 12 months at the helm, guiding them to the Rugby Championship title and the World Cup final.

Nehe Milner-Skudder, 24, was named Breakthrough Player of the Year and his fellow All Blacks winger Julian Savea got try of the year for his blockbusting score against France in the quarter-finals.

Carter is the all-time leading points scorer in international rugby with 1,598 points to his name.

He received Sunday’s award ahead of five other nominees — All Blacks team-mate Savea, Australia flanker Michael Hooper and number eight David Pocock, Wales second-row Alun Wyn Jones and Scotland scrum-half Greig Laidlaw.

Now that his international career is over, Carter will set his sights on a lucrative swansong in France with Paris giants Racing 92.

But his first priority is to get away from the limelight.

“In the coming weeks, we’ll just celebrate the title with the team,” he said.

“I am looking forward to going home to New Zealand to enjoy this moment with my friends, my family, the fans.

“I arrive in France in December, so I have a month to relax. What is beautiful is that I have closed this chapter of my life, and yet I am quite excited by the next, with this new challenge in France with my family.”

Carter, who missed the 2011 World Cup final victory on home ground because of injury, insists that the many personal accolades which have come his way have only been achieved by the support of the All Blacks.

“These personal distinctions, that’s not why we play rugby in the first place,” he said.

“At the same time, it’s fun and I feel proud because I had to work very hard, especially in the last two-three years, between injuries, the criticism from many people who wondered if I could continue. I had to fight.

“If you had told me what my last 24 hours in the boots of an All Black would look like, I would not have believed you. It’s a dream come true.”

Main awards winners:

World Player of the Year – Dan Carter, New Zealand

World Team of the Year – New Zealand

World Coach of the Year – Michael Cheika, Australia

World Women’s Player of the Year – Kendra Cocksedge, New Zealand

World Breakthrough Player of the Year – Nehe Milner-Skudder, New Zealand

World Sevens Player of the Year – Werner Kok, South Africa

World Women’s Sevens Player of the Year – Portia Woodman, New Zealand

World Referee Award – Nigel Owens

World Try of the Year – Julian Savea, New Zealand v France, World Cup quarter-final

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