Josh van der Flier has been named as the World Rugby men’s 15s player of the year after an outstanding 2022 for Ireland.
Van der Flier was nominated alongside Ireland captain Johnny Sexton, France’s Antoine Dupont and South Africa’s Lukhanyo Am, although the Leinster flanker came out on top to become the third Irish player to win the award.
Meanwhile, New Zealand’s Ruahei Demant won the women’s 15s player of the year award after her key role in her country’s World Cup triumph.
Mack Hansen and Dan Sheehan missed out on the men’s breakthrough player of the year award, as Italy’s Ange Capuozzo picked up that gong after some sensational individual performances in 2022.
Ireland’s Terry Kennedy won the men’s sevens player of the year award, while Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe missed out on the women’s sevens award, as Australia’s Charlotte Caslick got the nod.
Andy Farrell missed out on the coach of the year award, as New Zealand’s women’s head coach Wayne Smith was rewarded for leading his country to a World Cup triumph.
Chile’s Rodrigo Fernandez saw off competition from tier one players to win the men’s try of the year award, for his exceptional solo effort against the USA in a Rugby World Cup qualifier.
Josh van der Flier credits his team mates for his success.
Van der Flier was asked not to credit his team mates when asked why he has performed at such a high level this year, although he couldn’t help it.
“I’ve been incredible fortunate to have great team mates and coaches that have really pushed me on, as well as my wife and my family supporting me a huge amount,” Van der Flier said.
“I think especially from team mates, I’m lucky to have some very experienced and really top quality players, especially in my position as well both in Ireland and in Leinster.
“So I’ve always felt I’ve needed to be playing at my best the whole time or I wouldn’t be playing. So that’s certainly driven me on.”
The 29-year-old is one of four Irish players included in the World Rugby team of the year, alongside Sexton, Tadhg Beirne and Tadhg Furlong.
— World Rugby (@WorldRugby) November 20, 2022
2022 World Rugby team of the year.
15. Freddie Steward (England)
14. Will Jordan (New Zealand)
13. Lukhanyo Am (South Africa)
12. Damian De Allende (South Africa)
11. Marika Koroibete (Australia)
10. Johnny Sexton (Ireland)
9. Antoine Dupont (France)
8. Gregory Alldritt (France)
7. Josh van der Flier (Ireland)
6. Pablo Matera (Argentina)
5. Sam Whitelock (New Zealand)
4. Tadhg Beirne (Ireland)
3. Tadhg Furlong (Ireland)
2. Malcolm Marx (South Africa)
1. Ellis Genge (England)