Jamie Heaslip’s stunning try for Ireland against Italy in the 2016 RBS 6 Nations was voted try of the year at the World Rugby awards on a night where New Zealand were never far away from the main stage.
Heaslip was on the end of a free-flowing team move that started in the Irish 22, moved from the right to left flank and ended with Heaslip crashing over the line.
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It was Ireland’s fourth try in a 58-15 victory over Italy in Dublin and it certainly stayed in the fans’ minds as the score won a public vote to be named try of the year.
Leinster and Ireland star Heaslip – who was one of only five Lions to play every minute of the three-match series against South Africa in 2009 before starting the first two Tests against Australia in 2013 – was up for another gong at Sunday’s World Rugby Awards ceremony in London as he was one of five nominated for World Rugby Men's Player of the Year award – the other being England trio Owen Farrell, Billy Vunipola and Maro Itoje as well as New Zealand’s Beauden Barrett.
In the end it was Barrett who walked away with the prestigious prize, becoming the fifth successive All Black to receive the award, following in the footsteps of Dan Carter (2012 and 2015), Kieran Read (2013) and Brodie Retallick (2014).
Voted for by the fans on World Rugby Twitter, the IRPA Try of the Year 2016 is @jamieheaslip! #WorldRugbyAwards pic.twitter.com/1UaFdN8dTa
— World Rugby (@WorldRugby) November 13, 2016
But the prizes for The British & Irish Lions opponents in 2017 didn’t stop there as setting a new record for winning 18 successive Tests saw New Zealand named team of the year, while Steve Hansen was crowned coach of the year for the fourth time.
"It means so much and it is certainly not something I expected to be awarded, or even to have my name thrown in the mix with the talented players we saw nominated,” said Barrett.
“It's a by-product of a couple of great teams I have been a part of this year, the Hurricanes and the All Blacks.
“I have to thank the coaches and my team-mates around me because without them I wouldn't be here.”
Delighted to win this @worldrugby award on behalf of the @irishrugby lads! Was a great team try to be part of! Thanks to everyone who voted! pic.twitter.com/ZCKQkBcULt
— jamie heaslip (@jamieheaslip) November 14, 2016