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Barrett named NZ rugby player of 2016

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 15/12/2016 Angelo Risso

All Blacks first-five Beauden Barrett has capped a stellar year at all levels of the game by being named New Zealand Rugby's player of the year.

Barrett, 25, started the 2016 Test campaign as super-sub but pushed his way into the All Blacks' No.10 jumper after an injury to Aaron Cruden.

He hasn't looked back since, with near-flawless showings in the black jersey accompanied by a maiden Super Rugby crown with the Hurricanes.

Along with last year's World Cup triumph, the Taranaki native won every club and Test trophy available to him in 2016.

A minor blip in the side's northern tour loss to Ireland in Chicago was then rectified with outstanding performances in victories against Ireland and France.

He has already been named the World Rugby player of 2016, and had earlier been awarded the Super Rugby player of the year gong.

"The coaches gave me that opportunity and had that belief in me, and that gave me a lot of confidence," Barrett said.

"It was more time in the drivers' seat to run the team, to rub shoulders with Read and the game-drivers.

"As a player, you just want to be the best you can be, and I'm working on that daily."

Thursday night proved a successful one for the Barrett family, with Beauden's two awards followed by a pair of accolades to younger brother Jordie.

Jordie, 19, was named Age Grade and Mitre 10 Cup player of the year for his work with New Zealand under-20s and Canterbury.

With a record of 13 Test wins from 14, the All Blacks also earned their sixth consecutive team of the year award, while coach Steve Hansen was named coach of the year.

The world champions, having lost a host of legendary players at the end of 2015, surprised many with their southern-hemisphere dominance and exciting running style.

"There's not a day goes by when you're in the environment that you're not pinching yourself," Hansen said.

"You want your team to be playing well and winning games and, if that happens, things like coaches' and players' awards come."

Elsewhere, young gun Rieko Ioane was named All Blacks Sevens player of the year, while Sarah Goss won Black Ferns Sevens player of the year as her side earned silver in Rio.

Black Ferns utility back Selica Winiata won women's player of the year, while Hurricanes captain Dane Coles earned the Maori player of the year award.

NZ RUGBY PLAYERS OF THE YEAR:

* Age Grade - Jordie Barrett (New Zealand under-20s)

* Heartland Championship - Te Rangatiwa Waitokia (Wanganui)

* Mitre 10 Cup - Jordie Barrett (Canterbury)

* All Blacks Sevens - Rieko Ioane

* Black Ferns Sevens - Sarah Goss

* Super Rugby - Beauden Barrett (Hurricanes)

* Maori - Dane Coles (Hurricanes/All Blacks)

* Women - Selica Winiata (Manawatu/Black Ferns)

* Men - Beauden Barrett (Hurricanes/All Blacks)

* Coach - Steve Hansen (All Blacks)

* Referee - Glen Jackson

* Team - All Blacks

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