Super Rugby
McCaw scoops Sportsman of the Year award
ESPNscrum Staff
February 10, 2011
Richie McCaw poses with the New Zealand Sportsman of the Year award, alberg Awards, SkyCity Convention Centre, Auckland, New Zealand, February 10, 2011
All Blacks skipper Richie McCaw poses with the New Zealand Sportsman of the Year award © Getty Images

All Blacks captain Richie McCaw has landed the New Zealand Sportsman of the year award at a sports star-studded event in Auckland.

McCaw was not the only rugby figure honoured at the prestigious Halberg Awards with recently retired New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) chairman Jock Hobbs presented with the SPARC Leadership Award and former All Black Michael Jones inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame.

The 30-year-old McCaw, who was also named the 2010 IRB Player of the Year for the third consecutive year, saw off the challenge of Benji Marshall (Kiwis rugby league), Ryan Nelsen (All Whites soccer) and Jossi Wells (free skiing) for the sportsman award.

McCaw had a stand-out season last year, captaining the All Blacks to 13 victories in their 14 Tests, with the team retaining the Bledisloe Cup, winning the Tri-Nations and completing a Grand Slam on the team's end of year tour.

NZRU CEO Steve Tew said it was a marvellous achievement for McCaw. "Richie and the All Blacks had an outstanding year in 2010 and given the calibre of the other nominees, he can be very proud of this achievement.

"Our congratulations go to him and to all the nominees from other sports who received awards tonight. We have an impressive depth of sporting talent in this country and that is certainly something for New Zealanders to celebrate."

Jones, the outstanding All Blacks flanker, played 55 Tests for New Zealand and maintains strong links to rugby including acting as an ambassador for volunteers for this year's Rugby World Cup.

Tew also paid tribute to Jock Hobbs, who is undergoing treatment for cancer and had his daughters Emily and Penny accept the SPARC Leadership Award on his behalf.

Tew said the award was deserved recognition of the outstanding contribution Hobbs has made to rugby in this country over a long period. "As a player, board member and most recently as NZRU and RNZ 2011 chairman, Jock has been instrumental in many of rugby's most significant developments and achievements.

"Everyone associated with the NZRU congratulates Jock on tonight's recognition and we wish him and his family all the best as he continues his treatment."

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