Michael Hooper has maintained his stranglehold on the Waratahs’ Matthew Burke Cup, claiming the players’ player gong for the fifth straight year.
Hooper has held the trophy in every season since joining NSW, and the tireless flanker extended his run to a fifth season, two more than any Waratahs player in history.
The 25-year-old was a runaway winner of the award, which is voted on a 3-2-1 basis by players after each game, notching 340 votes, almost double that of runner-up Israel Folau (188).
Folau took out the best back award, edging out Bernard Foley, while Tolu Latu and Will Skelton rounded out the top five.
Youngsters Michael Wells, Jake Gordon, Ned Hanigan and David Horwitz also featured in the top 10, with veteran prop Sekope Kepu just behind.
Hanigan, who made his Wallabies debut in June, also won the Emerging Waratah Medal, after a breakout season.
Sydney Uni’s Victoria Latu won the women’s player of the year, while West Harbour’s Tayler Adams was given the Ken Catchpole Medal as best Shute Shield player this year.
In a newly amalgamated awards night, both the Waratahs and NSW rugby awards were presented on the same evening.
NSW RUGBY AWARDS
Matthew Burke Cup
1. Michael Hooper (340)
2. Israel Folau (188)
3. Bernard Foley (183)
4. Tolu Latu (164)
5. Will Skelton (87)
6. Michael Wells (69)
7. Jake Gordon (65)
8. Ned Hanigan (64)
9. David Horwitz (49)
10. Sekope Kepu (45)
Chris Whittaker Aspiring Waratah Medal
David Dennis U20s Player of the Year
Ken Catchpole Medal (Shute Shield Player of the year)
Tayler Adams (West Harbour)
NSW Women’s Player of the Year
Young Volunteer of the Year
Rebecca Yeomans (Walgett Lambs Junior Rugby Club)
Senior Volunteer of the Year
Ash Miller (University of Sydney)
NSW Rugby Club of the Year
Hunters Hill Rugby Club