Wallabies and Waratahs star Michael Hooper is celebrating today, after becoming the fourth player to claim the prestigious John Eales Medal twice in Sydney last night.
The 24-year-old Wallabies’ vice-captain has capped off a stellar year, after receiving man-of-the-match in half of the six Tests played on home soil.
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He also ended fellow Waratahs team mate Israel Folau’s consecutive winning streak, wearing the medal in both 2014 and 2015.
The number seven passed backrow partner David Pocock by 107 votes to secure the award, who managed to secure second despite missing five tests due to injury.
Will Genia, Bernard Foley and Folau completed the top five in medal count, which is voted on by Wallabies players each test on a 3-2-1 basis.
Voting runs from last year’s Chicago Test until the third Bledisloe, which was held on Saturday night.
Wallabies’ rookie of the year was handed to Dane Haylett-Petty, while Melbourne Rebels’ Sean McMahon took out Super Rugby Player of the year.
Queenslander Charlotte Caslick was recognised for her outstanding Olympic campaign with women’s sevens player of the year, while Ed Jenkins’ was the men’s sevens’ best.
Wallaroos captain Ash Hewson was crowned women’s player of the year.
Hooper and his Wallabies teammates are hoping to lift from their Bledisloe slump, heading to London ahead of a five-Test tour of Europe.
It will be the third time Australia has joined England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland on the same tour since 1984.
2016 John Eales Medal Awards
John Eales Medal: Michael Hooper
Qantas Wallabies Rookie of the Year: Dane Haylett-Petty
Qantas Wallabies Try of the Year: Drew Mitchell (most responsible for Adam Ashley-Cooper’s try), Australia v Argentina, Twickenham Stadium, 2015 Rugby World Cup Semi Final
Australia’s Choice – Qantas Wallaby of the Year: Michael Hooper
Wallabies Hall of Fame: John ‘Jack’ Ford, John Solomon, Peter Johnson
Asteron Life Super Rugby Player of the Year: Sean McMahon, Melbourne Rebels
Asteron Life Super Rugby Team of the Year: Brumbies
Asteron Life Super Rugby Coach of the Year: Stephen Larkham, Brumbies
Asteron Life Super Rugby Rookie of the Year: Reece Hodge, Melbourne Rebels
Asteron Life Super Rugby Try of the Year: Nick Frisby (most responsible for Jake McIntyre’s try), Queensland Reds v Blues, Suncorp Stadium, Round 4
Super Rugby TNT Referee of the Series: Angus Gardner
Buildcorp National Rugby Championship Player of the Year: Irae Simone, Sydney Rays
Australian U20s Player of the Year: Tyrell Lomax
Shawn Mackay Award Qantas Men’s Sevens Player of the Year: Ed Jenkins
Shawn Mackay Award Qantas Women’s Sevens Player of the Year: Charlotte Caslick
Women’s XVs Player of the Year: Ashleigh Hewson
Joe French Award: Alec Evans
Nick Farr-Jones Spirit of Rugby Award: Megan and Anthony Elliot
Roger Vanderfield Award, Referee of the Year: Angus Gardner
HSBC Volunteer of the Year: Deon Norval, Uni Norths Owls Rugby Club, ACT
HSBC Lifetime Volunteer of the Year: Dougal Whitton, Canberra Royals Rugby Club, ACT
HSBC Young Volunteer of the Year (U25): Hayden Croghan, Palmyra Rugby Club, WA
Geoff ‘Bunter’ Shaw Community Coach of the Year: Kylie Dawson, Farrer Memorial Agricultural High School Rugby, Tamworth, NSW and NSW Central Norths Rugby