Carter pips McCaw for IRB player of the year

DAVID LONG IN LONDON
Last updated 06:22 04/12/2012
Richie McCaw
Getty Images
STAND IN: Richie McCaw accepts the Player of the Year award on behalf of Dan Carter.

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New Zealand completed a clean sweep at the annual IRB awards in London overnight with Steve Hansen named coach of the year, Dan Carter the player of the year and, not surprisingly, the All Blacks picked up the team of the year.

Carter wasn't on hand to pick up his award, which was announced just after the World Cup pools for the 2015 were drawn, as he had gone to Europe on sponsorship duties with some other players.

Hansen and McCaw were left to receive the award on Carter's behalf. It is the second time Carter has won this coveted prize, with the last time being in 2005.

For Hansen, his award caps a magnificent first year in charge of the All Blacks, where the only test lost was the team's last, against England on Saturday.

"It is very humbling to be recognised, but the reality is that it's not just me, it's about a whole group of people who've worked really hard," Hansen said.

"The players have done particularly well and the rest of the coaching and management group have been outstanding.

"Without those people doing their bit then you can't do it as a coach. The reward really is a reflection on everyone, rather than just me."

As for Carter, Hansen said the All Blacks were fortunate to have two of the greatest ever players in the team at the same time.

"Dan brings a lot of experience, cool headedness and he can play a kicking game, a running game and he's a world class player," Hansen said.

"This is the second time he's won it and there is only one other person who's done that and that's the guy he just headed off (McCaw).

"Both of them are world class players and both fall into that category of great and to have them both playing in the same team at the same time has been a massive advantage for New Zealand."

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