Cape Town - Springbok wing Aphiwe Dyantyi was overwhelmed after winning the World Rugby Breakthrough Player of the Year award in Monaco on Sunday night.
Dyantyi scored six tries in his first eight Tests for the Boks - including two in the famous win against the All Blacks in Wellington - and finished his debut season with 13 caps.
He beat Ireland wing Jordan Larmour and New Zealand prop Karl Tu'inukuafe to the award.
“I’m still shaking from disbelief but above anything I’m just honoured... just to be nominated. I’ve always watched people get these accolades and I never really imagined that I’d be the one sitting here. It’s really been a blessing,” Dyantyi said.
The main award of the evening went to Ireland flyhalf Johnny Sexton, who was named World Rugby Player of the Year.
It was an Irish triple at the ceremony as Ireland were named Team of the Year and Joe Schmidt won Coach of the Year.
Full list of World Rugby Awards winners:
World Rugby Men’s 15s Player of the Year - Johnny Sexton (Ireland)
World Rugby Women’s 15s Player of the Year, in association with Mastercard - Jessy Trémoulière (France)
World Rugby Team of the Year - Ireland
World Rugby Coach of the Year - Joe Schmidt (Ireland)
World Rugby Breakthrough Player of the Year - Aphiwe Dyantyi (South Africa)
World Rugby Men’s Sevens Player of the Year - Perry Baker (USA)
World Rugby Women’s Sevens Player of the Year - Michaela Blyde (New Zealand)
World Rugby Referee Award - Angus Gardner (Australia)
Vernon Pugh Award for Distinguished Service - Yoshiro Mori (Japan)
Award for Character - Doddie Weir (Scotland)
Spirit of Rugby Award - Jamie Armstrong, The Clan (Scotland)
IRP Special Merit Award - Stephen Moore (Australia) and DJ Forbes (New Zealand)
IRP Try of the Year - Brodie Retallick (New Zealand v Australia)