Dublin - New Zealand No.8 Kieran Read was on Tuesday named as the International Rugby Board's (IRB) player of the year for 2013.
28-year-old becomes the third All Black to win the award following
current international team-mates flanker and captain Richie McCaw
(three) and fly-half Dan Carter (two).
Read's honour capped a
hat-trick of awards for New Zealand who picked up the team of the year
gong while Steve Hansen was named coach of the year.
out British and Irish Lions and Wales full-back Leigh Halfpenny, young
South Africa lock Eben Etzebeth, Italy captain Sergio Parisse and All
Black team-mate Ben Smith for the award.
"I'd like to congratulate Kieran on his award as it is well deserved," said Hansen.
has been outstanding and has been a major contributor all season. It's
been a big year and I am incredibly proud of what the boys have
"It's certainly special to have the All Blacks named for
all three IRB awards, so it's important that we thank and acknowledge
all those behind the team because it wouldn't happen without them -- the
players, our management, the other team behind us at New Zealand Rugby,
All Blacks fans around the world, but most importantly, thanks to our
families for the love and support that allows us to focus on this great
It was the sixth time in 13 years that a New Zealander had
picked up the main award while it was the seventh time both the team and
coach were honoured.
For Hansen it was the second year in a row
he won the coach award, although that still leaves him a fair way off
his predecessor Graham Henry's five wins.
Former South Africa
coach Jake White is the only other coach to have won the award more than
once having been picked in 2004 and 2007.
South Africa are three-time winners of the team award with Australia, England and France having won once each.
IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset paid tribute to the award winners.
IRB player, coach and team awards bring the international Rugby year to
a close and what a year it has been for New Zealand," he said.
seem to reach new levels of excellence every year and although some
managed to push them very close, they were clearly the stand-out team of
"From a starting point of brilliance, Kieran Read has
been improving steadily in recent years and is now, without question, a
"His talent, work ethic and attitude make him
an extremely valuable player for New Zealand and a formidable opponent
for everyone else.
"Winning this award reflects a magnificent contribution to our game during 2013."
With 15 tries in 61 internationals, Read is the most prolific No.8 in the history of the game.
Zealand managed to complete the first ever perfect calendar year in the
professional era having won all 14 of their test matches.
also won the Rugby Championship this season while Hansen's record in two
years as All Blacks coach is a remarkable 25 wins, one draw and one
defeat, which was against England.