Simply the best
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Pieter-Steph du Toit capped off phenomenal 2019 season when he added the prestigious SA Player of the Year award to his World Player of the Year accolade.
Rassie Erasmus and the Springboks were also honoured for a brilliant 2019, when they won the World Cup and Championship, as well as the World Rugby Awards for Coach and Team of the Year, by walking away with the same awards in South Africa.
The 27-year-old Du Toit beat Damian de Allende, Cheslin Kolbe, Makazole Mapimpi and Duane Vermeulen to the top individual award in South African.
In the process, the Springbok loose forward became only the third player, behind Naas Botha and Bryan Habana, to take the title for a third time – after he also won it in 2016 and 2018.
Mark Alexander, President of SA Rugby, congratulated all the winners for their contribution to a memorable 2019 season in South Africa.
“Pieter-Steph led the charge for the Springboks and he deserves this accolade to go with his World Player of the Year Award,” said Alexander.
“The 2019-season will be ingrained in our memories for decades to come, thanks to Rassie, Siya and the Springboks, but all our national teams did well and we are proud of all the winners.
“At franchise and provincial level we also saw an upward surge which bodes well for the forthcoming season. Congratulations to all the winners and to all our teams, coaches and players across all levels here in South Africa, best of luck for the 2020 season – may we continue to spread hope and happiness.”
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Other big winners from the Boks’ World Cup squad included Herschel Jantjies (Young Player of the Year) and Handré Pollard (Super Player of the Year).
The 23-year-old Jantjies, who played in 10 of Boks’ Tests in 2019, arrived on the international scene like a bullet train, scoring a brace of tries in his Test debut against the Wallabies in Johannesburg, as well as a crucial five-pointer in the drawn Test against New Zealand in Wellington.
Pollard, the top points’ scorer at the World Cup in Japan, walked away with the award for Super Player of the Year. His 194 season points were the most in 2019 as the Springbok pivot helped steer the Bulls to the quarter-finals.
Springbok Sevens Player of the Year, Siviwe Soyizwapi, had a stellar year for the BlitzBoks, finishing the 2018/19 season as leading try-scorer and playing in all 10 tournaments. He took over the captaincy from injured Philip Snyman halfway through the season and in that capacity lifted trophies in Vancouver and Singapore.
Junior Springbok Player of the Year, Jaden Hendrikse, was a key figure in the SA Under-20 2019 World U20 Championship campaign in Argentina, with his accurate goal-kicking and play-making abilities earning him a regular place in the starting line-up. His consistently effective displays also earned him a nomination for the breakthrough player of the tournament award.
Aseza Hele (No.8), the Springbok Women’s Achiever of the Year, was a key figure for the national team with her powerful presence and hard running setting the field alight – skills that proved valuable in the team’s qualification for the 2021 Women’s World Cup in New Zealand.
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