New Zealand Rugby celebrates history-making Black Ferns

Getty Images     27 Nov 2017     Getty Images

The Black Ferns’ historic success continues a winning streak for New Zealand teams, who have won the award each year since 2010.

Black Ferns winger Portia Woodman and All Blacks first five-eighth Beauden Barrett picked up the Women's and Men’s Player of the Year awards.
In an outstanding night for women’s rugby, All Blacks Sevens speedster Michaela Blyde picked up the Sevens Player of the Year, ensuring Kiwis won every women’s prize available on the night. 


All Blacks flyer Rieko Ioane capped off a stellar 2017 season taking out the Breakthrough Player of the Year award.

New Zealand Rugby Chief Executive Steve Tew congratulated the Black Ferns on their historic, and thrilling, success.

“The Black Ferns have earned their place as the world's best team - and to be the first women's team to win Team of the Year is a fitting tribute to their talent, dedication and hard work. This has been an outstanding year for our women’s rugby teams, and the international recognition that our players and teams have received is totally deserved.

“The Black Ferns win of the Women’s World Cup was a truly inspiration effort, and the final against England was one of the most exciting games of rugby I’ve seen. I know that their success will lead to the continued growth of the women’s game and I look forward to seeing more women and girls follow in the footsteps of this outstanding Black Ferns team.

“I congratulate Portia Woodman for winning Women's Player of the Year. 2017 was a special year for Portia as she won the Women’s Rugby World Cup in Ireland with the Black Ferns and ended the tournament as top try scorer with 13 tries, including eight in a match. She’s been a joy to watch on the rugby field and at times almost impossible to stop.

“Beauden Barrett is a special player who has achieved the rare feat of winning Player of the Year for the second year in a row. He has stepped up into a leadership role, captaining the team for the first time, all the while running in six tries and notching up 168 Test points over the course of the year.
“Michaela had an outstanding season with the HSBC Women’s World Series-winning Black Ferns Sevens. She was the series’ top points scorer, top try scorer, was named DHL Impact Player of the Series and was listed in the World Series dream team.

“Rieko Ioane has been a revelation in 2017. For someone so young he has demonstrated a calm head and huge degree of maturity in his game, which has gone from strength to strength. He’s been a try-scoring machine, dotting down 10 times this year in 11 Tests.

“New Zealand Rugby was well represented among the nominees at this year’s awards. Congratulations also to our nominees – to Steve Hansen who was nominated for Coach of the Year, to Rieko Ioane who was also nominated for Men’s Player of the Year, Kelly Brazier nominated for Women’s Player of the Year, Ruby Tui nominated for Women’s Sevens Player of the Year and Portia Woodman who was nominated for Try of the Year.

“These awards and nominations show that rugby in New Zealand is in good heart. At the end of 2017 we hold all five of the rugby World Championships for which compete. We thank our fans for their continued support and the part they play in ensuring rugby continues to unify and inspire New Zealanders.”

Former All Blacks captain Richie McCaw was also awarded the IRPA Special Merit Award recognising his significant contribution to the game on and off the field.