Australian Rugby
Pocock wins John Eales Medal
ESPNscrum Staff
October 21, 2010
Wallabies flanker David Pocock addresses the audience after winning the John Eales Medal, Carriageworks, Sydney, Australia, October 21, 2010
Pocock claimed a landslide victory in the voting process © Getty Images

Wallabies flanker David Pocock has won the John Eales Medal as Australia's Player of the Year.

The 22-year-old also secured a memorable double by also topping the public poll to be crowned Australia's Choice - 2010 Wallaby of the Year. The 25-Test back-rower joins other openside flankers George Smith (2002, 2008) and Phil Waugh (2003) as a John Eales Medallist.

The Western Force breakaway claimed Australian rugby's most prestigious honour to cap a breakthrough season, which saw him take over the reins from retired Wallabies stalwart Smith. Pocock is one of five players to have featured in all 10 matches played by the Wallabies so far this year, and one of only three to start every game - alongside skipper Rocky Elsom and tight-head prop Salesi Ma'afu.

Pocock's performance on the 2009 Grand Slam tour included a Man-of-the-Match effort in the drawn Test against Ireland at Croke Park, as well as a maiden Test try during the 33-12 win over Wales at Cardiff before being forced to retire at half-time due to a damaged thumb.

One of several rising stars of the game, Pocock beat last year's winner Matt Giteau into second place with fly-half Quade Cooper claiming third in the voting process that saw every Wallaby from the past year cast a vote following each Test clash.

The top ten contenders were announced last month and were also in the running for the people's choice award, with the general public given the chance to vote for their favourite online.

John Eales Medal Votes:
David Pocock (269 votes)
Matt Giteau (193)
Quade Cooper (146)
Rocky Elsom (138)
Kurtley Beale (138)

The full list of award winners:
John Eales Medal: David Pocock
Australia's Choice - Wallaby of the Year: David Pocock
Joe French Award: Ron Meagher
Rookie of the Year: Kurtley Beale
Try of the Year: Kurtley Beale
Women's Player of the Year: Sharni Williams
Sevens Player of the Year - Shawn Mackay Award: James Stannard
Volunteer of the Year: Grant Wason
Under 20s Player of the Year: Robbie Coleman
Referee of the Year - Roger Vanderfield Award: Stuart Dickinson
The 2010 Hall of Fame inductees - Andrew Slack, the late Trevor Allan and the late AC 'Johnnie' Wallace - were also acknowledged.

Previous winners of the John Eales Medal are:
2002 - George Smith
2003 - Phil Waugh
2004 - David Lyons
2005 - Jeremy Paul
2006 - Chris Latham
2007 - Nathan Sharpe
2008 - George Smith
2009 - Matt Giteau

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