New Zealand’s talismanic number 8 Kieran Read was yesterday named the IRB Player of the Year, the third Kiwi to win the prestigious award.
The 28-year-old has enjoyed a phenomenal year in the heart of the All Blacks’ pack and played a key role in their unbeaten run in 2013.
The Crusaders forward has played 61 Tests for his country, the majority of them in the back row alongside Richie McCaw, and is now the most prolific try-scoring number 8 in world Rugby.
Read follows in the footsteps of teammates Dan Carter (2005 and 2012) and Richie McCaw (2006, 2009 and 2010) and edged out Eben Etzebeth (South Africa), Leigh Halfpenny (Wales), Sergio Parisse (Italy) and Ben Smith (New Zealand) to the award.
The accolade completes a hat-trick of awards for New Zealand, as the All Blacks were named IRB Team of the Year for the seventh time and Steve Hansen the IRB Coach of the Year for the second year in succession.
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