International Rugby, Opinions

Barrett is world’s best as Rieko is rugby’s rookie of year

Beauden Barrett was judged the best men’s player in the sport for the second successive year and Rieko Ioane the young pnnnlayer of the year. New Zealand’s World Cup-winning Black Ferns try-scoring machine Portia Woodman was named the best women player on the planet.

England’s Australian-born coach Eddie Jones broke New Zealand’s monopoly on the awards when he was named coach of the year ahead of All Blacks’ Steve Hansen and British and Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland. Jones’s England have won 22 from 23 Tests since he replaced Stuart Lancaster as coach.

Barrett was one of five nominees, which included Ioane, the England and Lions duo of Owen Farrell and Maro Itoje, as well as Australia’s Israel Folau.

The 26-year-old Barrett matched retired All Blacks legend Richie McCaw’s feat of winning the award in 2009 and 2010.

The judges panel featured Argentina’s Agustin Pichot, France’s Fabien Galthie, Ireland’s Brian O’Driscoll and former England coach Clive Woodward.

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