Wilkinson and Woodward claim IRB awards
November 23, 2003

England have cemented thier place at the top of the world by sweeping the board of all the major honours at the International Rugby Board Awards in Sydney.

Flyhalf Jonny Wilkinson claimed the Player of the Year award, Clive Woodward was named Coach of the Year and England took out the Team of the Year Award.

It completes an incredible 24 hours for Wilkinson, who wrote his name into history in the final with his last minute drop goal to give England a 20-17 win over Australia, was the runaway winner of the poll.

He said: "It's been a good year, definitely one to remember."

For Woodward the honour is just reward for steering his side to the country's first World Cup and a Grand Slam.

Elsewhere, Bob Stuart, the former All Black player, captain, coach and former member of the New Zealand Rugby Football Union Executive, was presented with the IRB Award for Distinguished Service having become a delegate to the IRB in 1978.

The IRB Development Award went to Tan Theany and Philippe Monnin for their work in introducing the game of rugby union to the young in Cambodia, while Michael and Linda Collinson collected the Spirit of Rugby Award.

The IRB Chairman's Award was presented by Dr Syd Millar to Dorinda Pugh, the wife his late predecessor Vernon Pugh for whom he said "there can be no more fitting or lasting memorial to Vernon than Rugby World Cup 2003."

Dr Millar also referred to Pugh's "profound" influence on the game and said his "loss to rugby football is enormous" and that he felt "quite humble in following in his footsteps - they are mighty big shoes to fill".

New Zealand received the IRB International Sevens Team of the Year for the third year of the awards, while new All Black Ben Atiga was named IRB International U21 Player of the Year.

Live Sports

Communication error please reload the page.