Wallabies flanker Michael Hooper has been named Australian rugby union’s best player by his peers for a second time after a stand-out international season.
The team vice-captain was announced as the John Eales medal winner in Sydney on Thursday evening after claiming three man-of-the-match awards in the Wallabies’ six domestic Tests this year.
Hooper amassed 296 points from players’ votes during the designated period from the pre-World Cup USA Test on 5 September 2015 to the final Bledisloe Cup Test against New Zealand last weekend.
David Pocock finished second in the medal count with 189 votes, ahead of Bernard Foley, Will Genia and Israel Folau.
Hooper follows Folau (2014, 2015), George Smith (2002, 2008) and Nathan Sharpe (2007, 2012) as double winners of the John Eales Medal, called after the former Australian skipper and voted on by Wallaby players after each Test.
In the first-ever Olympic year for Rugby Sevens, Charlotte Caslick won the Women’s Sevens Player of the Year following the team’s successful Olympic gold medal campaign in Rio.
Captain of the men’s Sevens Team Ed Jenkins was named Sevens Player of the Year for the second consecutive year.