NSW players scoop top awards


By NSW Rugby Media

Taqele Naiyaravoro and Shanice Parker were two of the top winners at the 2018 Rugby Australia Awards ceremony.


Naiyaravoro’s nearly length-of-the-field team effort, which was spectacularly finished off by the winger was voted Best try of the Year. Parker was one of the standout players for the NSW Women’s championship-winning team in the inaugural Super W and was named the competition’s best player.


Fellow rookie and NSW player Emily Chancellor took out the Player of the Year award for the Wallaroos after two outstanding performances against New Zealand’s Black Ferns in August. Chancellor emerged as one of Australia’s finds of the season, with the versatile backrower also co-captaining Macquarie University in the Aon University Sevens Series in 2017 and 2018. 


NSW ‘s Angus Gardner was named Referee of the Year.


Meanwhile, David Pocock capped his stellar return to international rugby by claiming the John Eales Medal. 

Pocock wins the award for the second time in his decade-long career, having previously collected the medal in 2010.

Amassing 262 votes (123 clear of his nearest teammate, Lukhan Tui) from his Wallabies teammates since the start of the Mitsubishi Estate Ireland Series, Pocock took the award despite not playing in every match during the award voting period. 

The workhorse backrower also reinforced his standing in the eyes of Wallabies supporters by taking out the fan’s choice award for the Qantas Wallabies Player of the Year.

Also taking top honours on the night were Australian Sevens stars Evania Pelite and Ben O’Donnell, who scooped the Sevens Player of the Year awards named in memory of the late Shawn MacKay.

Pelite and O’Donnell were standouts on the Sevens World Series in 2017-2018 with Pelite amassing 13 tries for the World Series-champion Aussie women, and O’Donnell bursting onto the scene to finish 8th on the tryscorers list in the men’s series with 32 tries in his rookie campaign.

Three former greats were inducted into the Wallabies Hall of Fame, including pre-War hooker Eddie Bonis (Wallaby 261, 21 caps), former number eight, Tim Gavin (Wallaby 670, 47 caps) and former Wallabies captain and dual Rugby World Cup-winning hooker, Phil Kearns (Wallaby 681, 67 caps).  

Young tyro Taniela Tupou celebrated a breakout maiden season of international rugby, winning the Rugby Australia Rookie of the Year and Vodafone Super Rugby Player of the Year award after his influential season for the Queensland Reds.

For being a shining light on the values of Rugby and for services to the game, long-time administrator Ron Graham won the Joe French Award and Scott Fardy was recognised for his selfless role in the disaster relief efforts following the 2011 Tsunami in Japan by receiving the Nick Farr-Jones Spirit of Rugby Award. 

In a first, it was an even split in the Volunteer of the Year award voting between Knox Rugby Club’s Ian Frame and Box Hill’s Tilly Vlok, while Matthew Chapman of Miami State High in Queensland was judged the outstanding Community Coach in 2018.

Rugby Australia Awards 2018 Award Winners 

HSBC Volunteer of the Year: Ian Frame (Knox Rugby Club)

HSBC Volunteer of the Year: Tilly Vlok (Box Hill Rugby Club)

Roger Vanderfield TNT Referee of the Year: Angus Gardner

Nick Farr-Jones Spirit of Rugby Award: Scott Fardy

Joe French Award: Ron Graham

Geoff ‘Bunter’ Shaw Community Coach of the Year Award: Matthew Chapman (Miami State High)

Under 20s Player of the Year: Fraser McReight (Queensland)

Rugby Australia Rookie of the Year: Taniela Tupou (Qantas Wallabies)

Rugby Australia Try of the Year: Taqele Naiyaravoro v Rebels (Round 5 – Super Rugby)

Buildcorp Super W Player of the Year: Shanice Parker (NSW Women)

Vodafone Super Rugby Player of the Year:  Taniela Tupou (Queensland Reds)

Australia’s Choice – Qantas Wallaby of the Year: David Pocock

Buildcorp Women’s XV Player of the Year: Emily Chancellor

The Shawn MacKay Award – Men’s Sevens Player of the Year: Ben O’Donnell

The Shawn MacKay Award – Women’s Sevens Player of the Year: Evania Pelite

John Eales Medal: David Pocock







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