All Blacks take the honours

New Zealand have swept the board in this year's International Rugby Players' Association awards. [more]

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New Zealand have swept the board in this year’s International Rugby Players’ Association awards.

All Blacks captain Richie McCaw was named player of the year, while lock Jason Eaton won the newcomer section and all-conquering New Zealand were predictably named team of the year.

McCaw, who finished second behind his national team-mate Dan Carter last year, proved a comfortable winner after votes were collected from the eight national players’ associations.

McCaw said: "It is special to be acknowledged by your peers, and I am really grateful for that. The All Blacks have had a good season, and my team-mates are part of this award too."

As for the team award, All Blacks head coach Graham Henry added: "We have a special group of players in the All Blacks right now and they are all working for each other, which gives us a great strength as a team."

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The Tri-Nations champions conclude their European tour against Wales in Cardiff on Saturday, having already beaten France twice and England so far this month.

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