Caucau claims top French award

Agen winger Rupeni Caucaunibuca has been named as France’s Rugby Player of the Year after scoring the most tries in the Top 14 for the second consecutive year.

The Fijian international has been out of action since the beginning of this European season, but was nevertheless honoured with the accolade after he scored 17 tries in 23 matches in the previous competition.

Test centre Florian Fritz, who featured in France’s trouncing of the Springboks at Newlands in June, was named the French International Player of the Year. Jacques Delmas was duly awarded Coach of the Year after taking Biarritz to a domestic title and the final of the Heineken Cup, where the South West club lost narrowly to Munster.

Others who were acknowledged for their efforts included Stade Francais flyhalf Lionel Beauxis (Newcomer of the Year), who was also a part of the U21 side that beat the Baby Boks in this year’s World Championship, and Joel Jutge (Best Referee).

The French rugby authorities also dealt out kudos to the fans, naming Bayonne as the best home crowd in the Top 14. Montauban received the same prize for the Pro D2.