Black Ferns co-captain and World Cup winner, Ruahei Demant has collected three major prizes at the 2022 ASB Rugby Awards, including the supreme Kelvin R. Tremain Memorial Player of the Year.
As well as being recognised as New Zealand’s outstanding overall player in 2022, Demant (Tē Whānau ā Apanui / Te Whakatōhea / Ngāti Awa) was also named as Black Ferns Player of the Year and Tom French Memorial Māori Player of the Year. Demant’s outstanding skills were there for all to see as she led her team to the Rugby World Cup title in New Zealand, and her teammates were also recognised with the Black Ferns awarded adidas New Zealand Team of the Year.
On an evening where the Black Ferns performances this year took centre stage, midfielder Stacey Fluhler was awarded Sky Television Fans Try of the Year as voted by fans for her stunning finish against England in the Rugby World Cup final. And it wasn’t just the Black Ferns players who were recognised with Head Coach Wayne Smith named as ASB New Zealand Coach of the Year, a nod to the huge impact he made after being appointed as Director of Coaching in April this year.
For outstanding contribution to New Zealand Rugby, the Steinlager Salver has been awarded to Dr Deb Robinson. ‘Dr Deb’, as she is known to many, has dedicated decades to rugby, as the team doctor for Canterbury and the Crusaders, the Black Fern Sevens, the All Blacks and the Black Ferns. Most recently, Dr Robinson joined the World Rugby Council as New Zealand Rugby’s first female representative.
For the second year in a row, All Blacks loose forward Ardie Savea was named All Blacks Player of the Year, while Ngarohi McGarvey-Black won the Richard Crawshaw Memorial All Blacks Sevens Player of the Year, and Michaela Blyde took home the Black Ferns Sevens Player of the Year.
Following an outstanding season, the Wellington Lions have been awarded the adidas National Men’s Team of the Year after breaking Hawke’s Bay’s 14-match Ranfurly Shield reign, then proceeding to take out the Bunnings Warehouse NPC title. Canterbury have won adidas National Women’s Team of the Year after winning the Farah Palmer Cup (FPC) presented by Bunnings Warehouse.
The Canterbury region featured heavily at the awards, with Crusaders fullback Will Jordan named as DHL Super Rugby Pacific Player of the Year and Head Coach Scott Robertson winning ASB National Men's Coach of the Year, after guiding the Crusaders to the DHL Super Rugby Pacific title.
The inaugural Sky Super Rugby Aupiki season kicked off with Covid restrictions forcing the competition to be played in a tournament format across two and half weeks. Chiefs Manawa hooker, Luka Connor has won the Sky Super Rugby Aupiki Player of the Year. Young Otago halfback and first-five, Maia Joseph has won the Fiao'o Faamausili Medal, to be recognised as the FPC presented by Bunnings Warehouse Player of the Year. Canterbury Head Coach Blair Baxter has been awarded the ASB National Women's Coach of the Year.
In the men’s competition, North Harbour first-five eighth Bryn Gatland won the Duane Monkley Medal as the NPC’s best player. Up and coming loose forward, Peter Lakai has won the New Zealand Rugby Age Grade Player of the Year. Ngāti Porou East Coast halfback Sam Parkes, received the Ian Kirkpatrick Medal for outstanding contribution on behalf of professional players both on and off the field.
Horowhenua-Kapiti's Ben O’Keeffe is the 2022 New Zealand Rugby Referee of the Year for the second year in a row, while Cathy Charles former Otago Rugby player, coach, and volunteer, was recognised with the Charles Monro Rugby Volunteer of the Year award for her 20 year contribution to the game.
NZR CEO Mark Robinson said:
“Congratulations to all the winners and nominees this evening. We have seen outstanding performances on the rugby field in 2022, none more memorable than the Black Ferns Rugby World Cup winning performance in front of a sold out Eden Park. A record-breaking milestone for women’s rugby internationally.
“It’s fitting that the Black Ferns were named as our adidas New Zealand Team of the Year and that their co-captain Ruahei Demant has been deservedly recognised for her outstanding contribution to her team, to Māori rugby and to the game in Aotearoa. Ruahei and the Black Ferns team have epitomised the values of our game in 2022.
“I would also like to acknowledge Dr Deb Robinson, whose immense contribution to rugby has been recognised with the Steinlager Salver. Deb has been an asset to all the teams she’s been involved with and has earned the unquestioned trust of her players and management through the professionalism, knowledge and care she has maintained throughout.”
ASB Chief Transformation Officer Lohit Kalburgi said:
"ASB would like to congratulate all the award winners and nominees with a special acknowledgement of the Black Ferns for their outstanding Rugby World Cup performance.
“We celebrate and acknowledge the contribution of the players, volunteers, coaches, referees and management teams who together contribute to a diverse and vibrant sporting landscape in Aotearoa.”
2022 ASB Rugby Awards (winners in bold):
New Zealand Rugby Referee of the Year:
Maggie Cogger-Orr (Auckland)
Brendon Pickerill (North Harbour)
Ben O'Keeffe (Horowhenua-Kāpiti)
Charles Monro Rugby Volunteer of the Year:
Cathy Charles (Otago)
Andrew Gemmell (Thames Valley)
Allen Grainger (Waikato)
New Zealand Rugby Age Grade Player of the Year:
George Bell (Canterbury)
Peter Lakai (Wellington)
Payton Spencer (Auckland)
Steinlager Salver – Outstanding contribution to New Zealand Rugby:
Dr Deb Robinson
Ian Kirkpatrick Medal:
Siu Kakala (South Canterbury)
Sam Parkes (Ngāti Porou East Coast)
Semi Vodosese (Whanganui)
Duane Monkley Medal:
Bryn Gatland (North Harbour)
Emoni Narawa (Bay of Plenty)
Peter Lakai (Wellington)
Fiao'o Faamausili Medal:
Luka Connor (Bay of Plenty)
Maia Joseph (Otago)
Charmaine Smith (Northland)
ASB National Men's Coach of the Year
Leo Crowley (Wellington)
Scott Robertson (Crusaders)
Nigel Walsh (South Canterbury)
ASB National Women's Coach of the Year:
Blair Baxter (Canterbury)
Allan Bunting (Chiefs Manawa)
Blair Cross (Hawke’s Bay)
ASB New Zealand Coach of the Year:
Wayne Smith (Black Ferns)
DHL Super Rugby Pacific Player of the Year:
Will Jordan (Crusaders)
Stephen Perofeta (Blues)
Ardie Savea (Hurricanes)
Sky Super Rugby Aupiki Player of the Year:
Luka Connor (Chiefs Manawa)
Liana Mikaele-Tu'u (Blues)
Joanah Ngan-Woo (Hurricanes)
Sky Try of the Year:
Sam Blackburn (Petone v Hutt Old Boys Marist)
Stacey Fluhler (Black Ferns v England)
Will Jordan (All Blacks v Australia)
Tom French Memorial Māori Player of the Year:
Ruahei Demant (Tē Whānau ā Apanui / Te Whakatōhea / Ngāti Awa)
Stacey Fluhler (Ngāi Tūhoe)
TJ Perenara (Ngāti Rangitihi / Te Arawa)
Richard Crawshaw Memorial All Blacks Sevens Player of the Year:
Black Ferns Sevens Player of the Year:
Risaleaana (Risi) Pouri-Lane
Black Ferns Player of the Year:
All Blacks Player of the Year:
adidas National Men's Team of the Year:
Ngāti Porou East Coast
adidas National Women's Team of the Year:
adidas New Zealand Team of the Year:
Kelvin R Tremain Memorial Player of the Year:
Ruahei Demant (Auckland)