Wednesday 14 November 2018

Ireland's Joy Neville wins World Rugby Referee of the Year while All Black Barrett claims Player of the Year

Joy Neville is interviewed by Alex Payne after receiving the World Rugby Referee Award during the World Rugby Awards 2017 in the Salle des Etoiles at Monte-Carlo Sporting Club on November 26, 2017 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Dave Rogers - World Rugby/World Rugby via Getty Images)
Joy Neville is interviewed by Alex Payne after receiving the World Rugby Referee Award during the World Rugby Awards 2017 in the Salle des Etoiles at Monte-Carlo Sporting Club on November 26, 2017 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Dave Rogers - World Rugby/World Rugby via Getty Images)

Former Ireland international Joy Neville has received the World Rugby Referee of the Year award at the World Rugby Awards dinner in Monte-Carlo, Monaco.

Neville receives award after officiating the Women's Rugby World Cup final while she also became the first woman to take charge of a men's international when she officiated Norway and Denmark last month.

"It's amazing," Neville said after receiving the award.

"I retired in 2013 after we won the Grand Slam and to think that I'm stood here after refereeing the Women's World Cup final and I've a lot of people to thank for that.

"A lot of organisations but it's mostly down to my beautiful wife Simona down there, and my family, and I'm completely honoured to be here and to receive this and I thank you and everyone who has supported me throughout this journey."

Meanwhile England head coach Eddie Jones has won the World Rugby Coach of the Year award after the successful defence of his side's Six Nations title.

England have won 22 of their last 23 games with their only defeat during that period coming at the hands of Ireland in the final game of the 2017 Six Nations.

"I think it's great for our team, I think it's a reflection of our team, it's a reflection of the great players that we've got," Jones said after receiving the award.

"The only reason I took the job was because I thought they had very good players, and they're was just something a little bit missing, and the players have been able to find that by themselves.

"We're only halfway through the project so we still have a couple of good years to go."

In the final award of the night, New Zealand fly-half Beauden Barrett won the World Rugby Player of the Year award for the second consecutive season following another phenomenal year with the All Blacks.

The Hurricanes playmaker scored six tries and a total of 168 points in 13 test matches as he helped guide New Zealand to a second consecutive Rugby Championship win as well as a clean sweep of their end of year tour of France, Wales and Scotland.

"I'm very proud and surprised," said Barrett.

"I wanted to be better than last year and I still feel that I've got plenty more to go so I think that's exciting.

"I guess one day when I hang the boots up I can be proud of this but I've got to thank the team and I'm just one player amongst a great team.

"I get a lot of credit for some great things but I have to thank them."

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