Beauden Barrett takes top award for French try
Beauden Barrett's spectacular score against France in Christchurch on June 15 has been named the International Rugby Players' Association's Try of the Year for 2013.
The talented back, who came on as a replacement , becomes the first New Zealander to win the award after two South Africans, an Australian and a player each from England and Ireland have previously been named winners. The announcement was made on this week's IRB Total Rugby TV show.
New Zealander Andrew Mehrtens, England's Tony Diprose, Paul Wallace of Ireland and ex-Springbok Thinus Delport formed the panel of judges who opted for Barrett's effort ahead of the four others on the shortlist, which included Barrett's team-mate Ben Smith, Scotland's Stuart Hogg and two South Africans, Jean de Villiers and Zane Kirchner.
Barrett's sensational try resulted from a turnover just out from New Zealand's line as France attacked. The move, which included slick passing from several members All Blacks and a clever chip ahead, was eventually finished off by Barrett under the French posts.
"It was a great feeling to deliver this try for the team," Barrett said. "Like all tries, the groundwork is done on the training field and by your team-mates, and the buzz when any of the guys manages to dot down is why we play for each other. I am glad that others enjoyed watching it all unfold."
Mehrtens added: "With so many great international tries during 2013, involving both individual brilliance and collective effort, it is never an easy process to settle on one try. However, when it came down to it, Barrett's try stood out for the judges due to the high level of skills involved by different players, and, most importantly, the teamwork required to make it happen."
Former winner Jaque Fourie said: "As players, you work hard at your skills day in, day out, and when that hard work pays off by scoring a try on the international stage it is certainly rewarding. This award from IRPA means a lot to the players as it rewards the hard work that goes into pulling off a moment of brilliance."
Barrett's feat caps off an amazing year for New Zealand that saw them win all 14 of their tests, and the All Blacks scooping the major international awards for 2013.
2012 - Bryan Habana (South Africa) - South Africa v New Zealand
2011 - Radike Samo (Australia) - Australia v New Zealand
2010 - Chris Ashton (England) - England v Australia
2009 - Jaque Fourie (South Africa) - South Africa v British and Irish Lions
2008 - Brian O'Driscoll (Ireland) - Australia v Ireland