Captain fantastic Siya Kolisi scoops top award
Border skipper Lusanda Dumke is Springbok Women’s Player of the Year
Springbok captain and former Grey High star Siya Kolisi has scooped the SA Rugby Player of the Year award for 2021 while Border skipper Lusanda Dumke collected the corresponding women’s award.
The 30-year-old Kolisi earned the most votes for his exceptional performances during a demanding season that included a series win over the British & Irish Lions.
He edged out strong competition from other stalwarts of the team such as Lukhanyo Am, Damian de Allende, Eben Etzebeth and Makazole Mapimpi to become the first Bok captain since Jean de Villiers in 2013 to win the coveted award.
Kolisi was named the MTN Springbok of the Castle Lager Lions Series in 2021 and was the only Springbok to play in all 13 Tests that year.
He was at the forefront with impressive performances during the Castle Lager Rugby Championship which culminated in a nail-biting win over the rival All Blacks.
Another notable winner was exciting ex-Dale College flyer Aphelele Fassi, who took home the Young Player of the Year award.
Fassi, who made his Springbok debut in 2021, featured in two Tests, scoring superb tries on both occasions to underline his reputation as one of the hottest properties at fullback or wing.
As a result of showing true grit while spending five months in various biosecure bubbles in SA, Australia and the UK, the Springboks were named Team of the Year for 2021.
In a new category, Dumke was named Springbok Women’s Player of the Year, while the Border captain also walked away with the award for Provincial Women’s Player of the Year after leading her side to the Women’s Premier Division title.
Ronald Brown capped an impressive debut season for the Blitzboks by being named Springbok Sevens Player of the Year, while Henco van Wyk’s performances in the Under-20 International Series won him the Junior Springbok Player of the Year.
Aimee Barrett-Theron won the Outsurance Referee of the Year Award for the second time while the Castle Lager Test Try of the Year, which was voted for by supporters, went to Cheslin Kolbe.
It was for his superb and crucial try in the third Test against the British & Irish Lions in Cape Town.
SA Rugby president Mark Alexander congratulated the winners and applauded their achievements in 2021.
“Siya led from the front as the Springboks completed what was arguably their toughest season, for many reasons, in a very long time,” Alexander said.
“Supported very well by Jacques Nienaber and his coaching team, as well as his teammates, Siya showed true leadership under challenging conditions, and he became better as the year progressed, which culminated with a spot in the World Rugby Dream Team for 2021, along with Makazole, Lukhanyo, Eben and Malcolm Marx.
“Aphelele is a star in the making and last year we saw glimpses of what he can do, which is why he fully deserves the award for Young Player of the Year, while Cheslin’s try-scoring exploits are well-documented and his excellent five-pointer in the final Test against the Lions was crucial in helping the Boks clinch the series.
“Lusanda, Ronald and Henco are all deserved winners after stellar performances as three of our other national teams kept the SA flag flying high around the world.”
List of winners:
SA Rugby Player of the Year: Siya Kolisi
SA Rugby Young Player of the Year: Aphelele Fassi (Springboks/Sharks)
Springbok Women’s Player of the Year: Lusanda Dumke
Springbok Sevens Player of the Year: Ronald Brown
Junior Springbok Player of the Year: Henco van Wyk
Team of the Year: Springboks
Coach of the Year: Jake White (Bulls)
Currie Cup Premier Division Player of the Year: Elrigh Louw (Bulls)
Currie Cup First Division Player of the Year: Dylan Maart (Cavaliers)
Provincial Women’s Player of the Year: Lusanda Dumke (Border Ladies)
Castle Lager Test Try of the Year: Cheslin Kolbe (Springboks v British & Irish Lions, third Test)
Referee of the Year: Aimee Barrett-Theron
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