Irish captain Keith Wood was named as rugby's International Player of the Year at a ceremony in London on Sunday night. The Harlequins man scooped the prestigious award, in its inaugural year, in recognition of an outstanding campaign in which Ireland recorded memorable Six Nations victories over France, Wales and England, while he was also a key member of the Lions squad that toured Australia during the summer.
Wood's Irish team-mate Brian O'Driscoll, England stand-off Jonny Wilkinson and Australian duo George Gregan and George Smith were also nominated for the prize, which was voted by a panel of ten former players from around the world and headed by Wales' Gerald Davies.
Australia were named Team of the Year following their 2-1 Test victory over the Lions, while retired coach Rod Macqueen was presented with the Coach of the Year prize. Ireland's Tom Kiernan received a Distinguished Service Award.
Full list of winners: International Player of the Year: Keith Wood (Ireland)International Team of the Year: AustraliaInternational Coach of the Year: Rod MacqueenInternational Young Player of the Year: Gavin Henson (Wales) International Women's Player of the Year: Shelley Rae (England)Referee Award for Distinguished Service: Ed Morrison (England) Spirit of Rugby Award: Tim Grandadge (India) Chairman's Awards: Kath McLean (East Coast Province, New Zealand); Sir Terry McLean (New Zealand); Albert Farasse (France); John Eales (Australia)Development Awards: Uruguay - for work done in the development of a new national stadiumJorge Brasceras (Argentina) for coaching, training and developmentIRB Distinguished Service Award: Tom Kiernan (Ireland)
Filed by Shane Murray