Smith on top Down Under

Brumbies loose forward George Smith has been named Australia’s Vodacom Super 14 player of the year.

Wallaby Smith received 35 votes, seven more than his teammate Stirling Mortlock, Peter Hewat of the Waratahs, Queensland’s David Croft and Scott Staniforth of the Western Force.

Waratahs prop Benn Robinson won the rookie of the year award, edging out Reds flyhalf Berrick Barnes by one vote.

Ewen McKenzie was named top coach after leading the Waratahs into the semi-finals.

The awards were voted on by a panel of players and journalists.

Player of the Series – Top 10:

George Smith – Brumbies, 35 votes
David Croft – Reds, 28
Peter Hewat – Waratahs, 28
Stirling Mortlock – Brumbies, 28
Scott Staniforth – Force, 28
Nathan Sharpe – Force, 27
Mark Gerrard – Brumbies, 26
Sam Cordingley – Reds, 22
George Gregan – Brumbies, 22
Cameron Shepherd – Force, 22

2006 Super 14 Awards:

2006 Player of the Series – George Smith
2006 Rookie of the Series – Benn Robinson
2006 Coach of the Series – Ewen McKenzie
2006 Referee of the Series – Scott Young
2006 Try of the Series – Sam Norton-Knight
2006 People’s Choice Award – Lote Tuqiri