Search icon


20th Nov 2022

Josh van der Flier claims World Rugby Player of the Year at Monaco ceremony

Patrick McCarry

Josh van der Flier

What an incredible 2022 it has been for the Wicklow native.

At 1am on Saturday night (Sunday morning), Andy Farrell, Johnny Sexton, Tadhg Beirne and Josh van der Flier headed off to the airport for an extremely red-eye flight to Monaco, for the World Rugby Awards.

After a two-year break, caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the awards were back as an in-person event, and World Rugby pushed the boat/yacht out.

It was a star-studded affair in the French principality, with rugby luminaries such as Bryan Habana, Drew Mitchell, Sam Whitelock, Rachel Burford and many more in the house for the awards ceremony.

The nominees for the World Rugby Player of the Year were:

  • Josh van der Flier (Ireland)
  • Johnny Sexton (Ireland)
  • Lukhanyo Am (South Africa)
  • Antoine Dupont (France)

Josh van der Flier

Josh van der Flier captures fourth major accolade of 2022

The World Rugby Player of the Year award is the fourth major accolade Josh van der Flier has won in 2022. He was named EPCR Player of the Year, in late May, Rugby Players Ireland’s Player of the Year and Rugby Writers of Ireland ‘Best Player’.

“I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have great teammates and coaches that have really pushed me on, as well as my wife and family,” said van der Flier.

“It’s been great. Any of the games we’ve won with the team. The win over New Zealand has to be right up there but my wife, Sophie, is sitting right over there and we got married in August, so I’d have to say that or she’s kill me!”

Judging panel for Men’s Senior 15s Award: Jacques Burger (NAM), Fiona Coghlan (IRE), Thierry Dusautoir (FRA), Richie McCaw (NZL), Drew Mitchell (AUS), Ugo Monye (ENG), Melodie Robinson (NZL), Blaine Scully (USA), John Smit (RSA).

Elsewhere on the glitzy awards night in Monaco, Italian winger Ange Capuozzo was named Men’s 15s Breakthrough Player of the Year, beating Ireland’s Mack Hansen and Dan Sheehan to that gong. Ruby Tui of the Black Ferns won the women’s equivalent after recently helping New Zealand to World Cup glory.

Andy Farrell, England women’s coach Simon Middleton and France head coach Fabien Galthié were beaten to Coach of the Year by Black Ferns boss, Wayne Smith.

There was another Irish winner on the night, as Terry Kennedy won Men’s Sevens Player of the Year.


Related articles:

WATCH: Liverpool BOTTLED the title race 🤬 | Who will win the Premier League?