JOHANNESBURG - Lood de Jager was named SA Rugby Player of the Year for 2015 when the rugby union on Thursday evening announced its award winners for the past season.
De Jager's award acknowledged his contribution to the Springboks success during their international season. He is the youngest recipient of the award since Bryan Habana received the accolade in 2005, aged 22.
On receiving the award, De Jager said, “Personally, I had an unbelievable year with the Springboks, although it was a bit up and down for the team.
“But a lot of younger players gained invaluable experience, and this bodes well for the future of the South African game.
"We just have to now go out and use it in 2016. I’m excited for a big season ahead, with a lot of challenges, and I’m sure we can all make a difference this year.”
Jaco Kriel received the Players’ Player of the Year Award as well as the Absa Currie Cup Premier Division Player of the Year Award, after leading the Xerox Golden Lions to victory in the competition.
The Xerox Golden Lions were named the Absa Team of the Year, and their coach, Johan Ackermann, received the Absa Coach of the Year award for the second season running.
Damian de Allende of the DHL Stormers was named the Vodacom Super Rugby Player of the Year.
Jesse Kriel, also of the DHL Stormers won the Absa Young Player of the Year.
Warrick Gelant, one of the Junior Springboks’ stars last season, was awarded the SA Under-20 Player of the Year award.
Werner Kok, World Rugby’s Sevens Player of the Year received the Springbok Sevens Player of the Year award, while Veroeshka Grain won the Women’s Achiever Award and Rasta Rasivhenge the Marriott Referee Award.
Marnus Schoeman of the Steval Pumas won the Vodacom Cup Player of the Year award, while Leopards fullback Rhyno Smith was awarded the Absa Currie Cup First Division Player of the Year.
Ernst van Rhyn of Western Province won the Coca-Cola Craven Week Player of the Year and Leon du Plessis of Rustenburg Impala won theClub Player of the Year.
Johan Deysel of NWU-Pukke scored the Supersport Try of the Year.