Johannesburg - Golden Lions utility back Lionel Mapoe was rewarded for his superb form this season at the union's annual Players Award Ceremony in Johannesburg on Wednesday evening.
Mapoe was named Backline Player of the Year and the Players' Player of the year, while lock Franco van der Merwe was awarded Forward Player of the Year.
The side's inspirational leader JC Janse van Rensburg, however, walked away with the Player of the Year award, perhaps surprisingly ahead of Elton Jantjies and Jaco Taute - who will both play for the Stormers in the Super Rugby competition next year.
After an injury-riddled year in 2011, Mapoe made an emphatic return to form during this year's Currie Cup season where he excelled at outside centre.
His stellar performances during the season won him a Springbok squad call-up for the final Rugby Championship Test against the All Blacks at the FNB Stadium.
While Mapoe was not selected for the match, his call-up to the squad was an indication that his efforts on the field has not gone unnoticed by Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer.
Injuries towards the end of the Currie Cup season could, however, derail his plans of travelling with the Boks on the end-of-year tour to Ireland, Scotland and England.
Van der Merwe has been one of the most consistent players in the team and influential among the forwards.
Janse van Rensburg has been regarded as a calming influence on a side that seemed to stumble from crisis to crisis this season.
He took over the captaincy from Josh Strauss at the start of the Currie Cup season and proved that the added responsibility did not affect his play.
The loosehead prop has been the anchor to a devastating Lions scrum and distinguished himself as one of the best front-rowers in the country.
Winners of the Lions’ 2012 awards:
Under-19 Backline Player of the Year: Harold Vorster
U-19 Forward Player of the Year: Dirk Kotze
U-19 Player of the Year: Albertus Smith
U-21 Backline Player of the Year: Robert de Bruyn
U-21 Forward Player of the Year: Etienne Oosthuizen
U-21 Player of the Year: Stephan de Wit
Referee’s Award: Rashivenge Fhatuweni
Backline Player of the Year: Lionel Mapoe
Forward Player of the Year: Franco van der Merwe
Players' Player of the Year: Lionel Mapoe
Player of the Year: JC Janse van Rensburg