Rookie No. 8 and flanker Isi Naisarani has taken out the 2017 Nathan Sharpe Medal at the Western Force’s annual awards night at Crown Perth on Saturday night.
The medal win caps off an great year for 22-year-old, who is the first player in the history of the Western Australian club to win the medal in their first year of professional rugby.
The award is determined after compiling the votes of the matchday 23 on a 3, 2, 1 basis throughout the season.
Naisarani played in all 15 of the Force’s fixtures this season with 10 appearances in the starting XV. The talented backrower burst onto the Super Rugby scene this season, tallying a team high 126 runs, 662 run metres, 22 tackle busts and 108 tackles.
In a show of his incredible consistency, Naisarani polled votes in 13 of the clubs 15 matches to finish with a tally of 180 votes, ahead of Wallabies Adam Coleman (130) and Tatafu Polota-Nau (126) in second and third place respectively.
Rookie scrumhalf Michael Ruru took out the Matt Hodgson Rising Star Award following a spectacular debut season, with the award renamed in honour of the inaugural player and retiring legend.
Hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau’s outstanding first season in the blue jersey was recognised by the members, taking out the Members’ MVP ahead of 2016 winner Dane Haylett-Petty.
Centre Bill Meakes’ incredible contribution to the club both on and off the field saw the Wallaby squad member awarded the Geoffrey Stooke Force Man Award.Young lock Matt Philip led Naisarani by 12 votes halfway through the count before going down with a foot injury that opened the door for the Fijian to move into the lead.
Nathan Sharpe Medal: Isi Naisarani
Members’ MVP: Tatafu Polota-Nau
Geoffrey Stooke Force Man Award: Bill Meakes
Rising Star: Michael Ruru
2017 – Isi Naisarani
2016 – Dane Haylett-Petty
2015 – Ben McCalman
2014 – Matt Hodgson
2013 – Kyle Godwin
2012 – David Pocock
2011 – David Smith
2010 – Matt Hodgson
2009 – Matt Hodgson
2008 – Ryan Cross
2007 – Matt Giteau
2006 – Scott Staniforth