British media honour All Blacks' success

Getty Images

Lynn McConnell     19 Dec 2015     Getty Images

The British Sports Journalists' Association acknowledged the All Blacks at their annual awards when they were given the SJA President's Award.

The awards which honour achievement in British sport are Britain's longest-running sports awards and have been presented since 1949, the same year as the forerunner of the Halberg Awards, the New Zealand Sportsman of the Year award, began.

Winners in most categories are decided by members voting but the President's award is a specialised category.

President Patrick Collins said the award was normally awarded to an individual from Britain.

But the All Blacks squad deserved it, he said, 'for playing a game as near perfect as it can be played'.

The award was accepted on behalf of the side by former All Blacks captain Sean Fitzpatrick and All Blacks lock Ali Williams.

The SJA website noted that Williams said it was humbling to receive the award for the All Blacks because the British press could be 'quite brutal' at times.

However, the website countered that comment by saying, 'I don't remember anything but stunned admiration from every sports writer who watched them rule the Rugby World Cup'.