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All Black great Dan Carter is World Rugby's Player of the Year for the third time

Ireland’s Sophie Spence was nominated for Women’s World Player of the Year.

Carter picked up the award for the third time.
Carter picked up the award for the third time.
Image: David Davies

NEW ZEALAND GREAT Dan Carter has capped a memorable week by being crowned World Rugby’s Player of the Year for 2015.

Carter, considered by many to be the greatest fly-half to ever have played the game, wins the award for the third time following his successes in 2005 and 2012, and comes following the crowning moment of his career by winning the Rugby World Cup.

The All Blacks star was a part of the side that triumphed 34-17 over Australia in Saturday’s final at Twickenham, in what was his last international appearance.

Victory over the Wallabies helped Carter erase memories of four years ago when he was forced to watch on injured as New Zealand triumphed at the World Cup on home soil.

Carter beat off stiff competition from Australia number eight David Pocock – who was among the favourites for the award – and fellow Wallaby Michael Hooper, as well as international team-mate Julian Savea, Scotland captain Greig Laidlaw and Wales’ Alun Wyn Jones.

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Also at the awards evening, New Zealand star Sonny Bill Williams received a new winners’ medal after handing his original to a young supporter.

Williams’ New Zealand team-mates Savea and Nehe Milner-Skudder were also recognised, the former won Try of the Year for his stunning effort in the 62-13 demolition of France in the World Cup quarter-finals, while the latter won Breakthrough Player of the Year.

Australia coach Michael Cheika was named Coach of the Year having led the Wallabies to Rugby Championship glory as well as the World Cup final.

World Cup final official Nigel Owens was named Referee of the Year, while Japan’s last-minute try in the stunning pool-stage win over South Africa won Best Match Moment.

Ireland’s Sophie Spence was nominated for Women’s Player of the Year, with the award going to New Zealand’s Kendra Cocksedge.

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Ryan Bailey

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