Giteau, Wilkinson honoured

2014-10-07 09:03
Matt Giteau (File)

Paris - Former Australian international flyhalf Matt Giteau and England legend Jonny Wilkinson were among the winners at Monday's Top 14 awards ceremony for the 2013/14 season.

Giteau, 32 and who won 92 caps for his country before leaving for France in 2011, won player of the season while Wilkinson was given a special award for his stellar career, from landing the drop goal in the dying seconds of extra-time to beat hosts Australia - Giteau was a member of that squad - in the 2003 World Cup to finishing it last season with a pivotal role in the Top 14 and European Cup double achieved by Toulon.

Giteau, who played centre while Wilkinson was at fly-half, was also outstanding for Toulon's successful season with his breaks, passing and also kicking which saw him score nine tries and contribute a total of 84 points.

"I am very happy, last year was extraordinary and I am very proud," said Giteau.

"It is perfect, there is nothing I would have changed."

Wilkinson, 35, was his usual humble self after he stepped up to accept the award.

"It is difficult to know how I feel, my emoptions are flowing through me," he said in French.

"I was paid to do something I adore, in the company of incredible players and coaches.

"I was supported by people throughout, and at the end of all that I end up with trophies....I am beginning to realise how lucky I was."

Toulon's coaching staff didn't miss out either as head coach Bernard Laporte and his assistants Pierre Mignoni and Jacques Delmas won the coaches award.

"I would like to congratulate above all the players," said Laporte, who was coach of the France team that Wilkinson and England beat in the 2003 World Cup semi-finals en route to the trophy.

"When I see what this team achieved last season I cannot help but be blown away, overjoyed.

"I will never be able to thank them enough."

Other awards went to 24-year-old eight times capped fullback Brice Dulin for best French player on the international stage, one where few France players have shone in another difficult year for the national side under Philippe Saint-Andre.

Revelation of the season went to Castres centre Remi Lamerat, the 24-year-old earning international recognition because of his performances and winning three caps to date.

Try of the season went to Stade Francais' Julien Arias which he scored against Biarritz while Romain Poite won referee of the year.

Fijian winger Mosese Ratuvou was named Second Division player of the season as his 21 tries were instrumental in Lyon regaining their place among the elite -- the Lyon coaching staff took the coach honours.

Read more on:    jonny wilkinson  |  matt giteau  |  rugby

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