Sydney - Wallabies star Michael Hooper was on Thursday voted the Australian Super Rugby player of the year, beating George Smith and Will Genia.
The openside flank polled 21 votes, four more than Smith and Genia, to become the first Waratahs player to win the honour since Phil Waugh in 2001, the Australian Rugby Union said.
Hooper, 21, who joined the Waratahs from the Brumbies at the start of the season, played the first two Tests against the British and Irish Lions before he was displaced in the final Test by the more experienced Smith.
Hooper polled votes in nine rounds of the competition, with four of those matches rated as man-of-the-match performances.
Smith, who came out of international retirement to play in a second series against the Lions, polled 17 votes along with scrumhalf Genia.
Former rugby league international Israel Folau was named rookie of the year in his first season in union, while former Springbok World Cup winner Jake White and his Brumbies side won the coach and team of the year gongs.