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September 9, 2019
World Rugby Awards: Ireland's Johnny Sexton and Joe Schmidt named player and coach of the year
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World Rugby Awards: Ireland’s Johnny Sexton and Joe Schmidt named player and coach of the year

Schmidt’s Ireland won every game that Sexton has started in 2018

Ireland have capped the greatest year in their rugby history by sweeping the board at the World Rugby awards in Monaco.

Johnny Sexton became the first Irishman to win the men’s player of the year award since Keith Wood in 2001, while Joe Schmidt won coach of the year.

The Six Nations champions were named team of the year having lost just once during 2018.

France’s Jessy Tremouliere picked up the women’s player of the year award.

It is the first time in seven years the award has gone to a player from outside of New Zealand.

Fly-half Sexton, 33, fought off competition from All Blacks duo Rieko Ioane and Beauden Barrett, who was looking to collect the award for the third straight time.

South Africans Malcolm Marx and Faf de Klerk were also nominated.

Sexton’s remarkable year at club and international level saw him win three major competitions: the Pro14, Champions Cup and the Six Nations.

Ireland’s only defeat this year came in their first Test against Australia in June, a game for which Sexton was rested following a busy end of season schedule with Leinster.

The fly-half returned for the next two Tests and guided Ireland to a first series win in Australia for 39 years.

Sexton’s drop goal against France gave Ireland a dramatic win in the opening game of their Grand Slam-winning Six Nations campaign

The Leinster captain also led the way in Ireland’s Grand Slam-winning Six Nations campaign, scoring a match winning drop-goal with the last kick of the game against France on the first day of the championship.

“If a number 10 wins an award like this it is due to the team around his,” said Sexton

“We have some of the best coaches in the world and are led superbly.”

A historic home win over the All Blacks was the highlight of an undefeated autumn international series for Schmidt’s side, who have cemented their position as the best team in the northern hemisphere.

New Zealand native Schmidt is expected to announce on Monday he will be leaving his role after next year’s World Cup in Japan.

Having spent the last five years at the helm in Ireland, many are tipping the Kiwi to move into a role in the All Blacks coaching set-up.

Full-back Tremouliere scored five tries in France’s Grand Slam-winning Six Nations campaign.

She was one of four French players to be nominated for the women’s award alongside New Zealand skipper Fiao’o Fa’amausili.

Source BBC News

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