Vermeulen wins big at Saru awards

Duane Vermeulen was named Saru Rugby Player of the Year after an extensive voting process.

FILE: Duane Vermeulen. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Springbok No. 8 Duane Vermeulen was the star of the annual South African Rugby Union (Saru) Player of the Year Awards when he walked off with three awards, including the main award of the season.

Vermeulen was named Saru Rugby Player of the Year after an extensive voting process, which included the country's rugby media and the public through Saru's online and social media platforms.

The 28-year-old Vermeulen, who will captain the Stormers this year, also won the coveted Sarpa Players' Player of the Year and Super Rugby Player of the Year Awards for 2014.

Saru President Oregan Hoskins said Vermeulen has been an outstanding throughout the season.

"Duane has been outstanding in 2014 and these awards are just reward for the excellent form he showed last year, as one of the Springboks' key performers and for the DHL Stormers."

Hot on Vermeulen's heels with two awards was young Springbok flyhalf and Junior Springbok captain Handré Pollard.

Pollard, one of the five nominees for the main award, was named Young Player and SA Under-20 Player of the Year after some stirring performances in his debut season for the Boks and during the Junior World Championship in New Zealand.

The outstanding Springbok Sevens and Women's Players of the Year were Seabelo Senatla and Fundiswa Plaatjie, neither of whom could not attend the glittering ceremony at World in Midrand because of their participation in two Sevens tournaments in New Zealand and Brazil this weekend.

WINNERS & FINALISTS:

Saru Rugby Player of the Year: Duane Vermeulen

Finalists: Nizaam Carr, Marcell Coetzee, Willie le Roux, Handré Pollard

Absa Young Player of the Year: Handré Pollard

Finalists: Nizaam Carr, Cheslin Kolbe, Seabelo Senatla, Jan Serfontein

Sarpa Players' Player of the Year: Duane Vermeulen (Stormers, Springboks)

Springbok Sevens Player of the Year: Seabelo Senatla

Finalists: Branco du Preez, Frankie Horne

SA Under-20 Player of the Year: Handré Pollard

Finalists: Thomas du Toit, Jesse Kriel

Team of the Year: Western Province (Currie Cup)

Finalists: Springboks, Junior Springboks, Springbok Sevens, Xerox Golden Lions (Currie Cup)

Coach of the Year: Johann Ackermann (Golden Lions)

Finalists: Allister Coetzee (Stormers & Western Province), Neil Powell (Springbok Sevens)

Super Rugby Player of Year: Duane Vermeulen (Stormers)

Finalists: Marcell Coetzee (Sharks), Warren Whiteley (Lions)

Player of the Year: Renaldo Bothma (Steval Pumas)

Finalists: Jonathan Francke (GWK Griquas), Lizo Gqoboka (EP Kings)

Currie Cup Premier Division Player of the Year: Nizaam Carr (Western Province)

Finalists: Juan de Jongh (Western Province), Jaco Kriel (Golden Lions)

Currie Cup First Division Player of the Year: Boela Abrahams (Down Touch Griffons)

Finalists: Sylvian Mahuza (Leopards), Dillon Smit (Leopards)

Supersport Try of the Year: Teboho "Oupa" Mohoje (Cheetahs v Crusaders, Super Rugby)

Finalists: Cornal Hendricks (Cheetahs v Blues, Super Rugby), Nathan Nel (UCT v Pukke, Varsity Cup Final), Seabelo Senatla (Western Province v Blue Bulls, Currie Cup), Juan de Jongh (Western Province v Blue Bulls, Currie Cup) and Corné Fourie (Lions v Cheetahs, Super Rugby)

Marriott Referee Award: Craig Joubert

Women's Achiever of the Year: Fundiswa Plaatjie

Community Cup Player of the Tournament: Michael Nienaber (Rustenburg Impala)

Coca-Cola Craven Week Player of the Tournament: Curwin Bosch (Eastern Province)