PARIS (AFP) – Double World Cup winner Richie McCaw and Olympic medallist and women’s Six Nations champion Jessy Tremouliere were named players of the decade on Monday (Dec 7) by World Rugby.
Rugby fans voted New Zealander Portia Woodman and Fijian Jerry Tuwai the sevens’ players of the decade. Ireland’s Jamie Heaslip and Woodman scored the tries of the decade.
In addition to the two awards she won, Black Fern Woodman was the only player to feature on both the sevens and 15s player of the decade lists.
The awards were announced in an online ceremony. The best players and the men’s try of the decade were chosen from the annual winners from the years between 2010 and 2019. World Rugby said it received 394,795 votes.
Because New Zealanders Beauden Barrett and Dan Carter each won the men’s award twice in the decade, there were eight men’s candidates.
Former All Blacks skipper McCaw also edged two New Zealand forwards in Kieran Read and Brodie Retallick, former France captain Thierry Dusautoir, Ireland’s fly-half Johnny Sexton and Springbok forward Pieter-Steph du Toit.
Fly-half Carter said McCaw’s award was thoroughly deserved.
“Congratulations to my good mate, Richie McCaw,” Carter said in a video posted online by the All Blacks.
“It was a huge honour to play alongside him for most of my career, a top man and an amazing rugby player.”
McCaw, a flanker who retired in 2015 and won the last of his three Player of the Year awards in 2010, led New Zealand to victory in the 2011 and 2015 World Cups. He held the record for most Test appearances until he was overtaken by Wales skipper Alun Wyn Jones in October.
There were also eight candidates for the women’s award, although a women’s player of the year was only instituted in 2015.
France full-back Tremouliere, who was Player of the Year in 2018, beat three Englishwomen and three New Zealanders as well as Canadian Magali Hall.