Rugby Australia Awards: All the winners from rugby's night of nights

by Emma Greenwood

Marika Koroibete has taken out Rugby Australia's top award at a glittering ceremony that celebrated the best of 2019 at the Rugby Australia Awards.

The Wallabies winger was named the John Eales Medalist, with the Wallaroo of the Year and the Shawn Mackay Sevens Players of the Year also crowned, along with a host of other significant awards.

Rugby's night of nights has moved from its former home at the Randwick race course to Sydney University's Seymour Centre.

Follow along with the award winners here.

9:00pm - John Eales Medal

We have a new John Eales Medallist for 2019. Winger Marika Koroibete has taken out the Wallabies' most prestigious award in 2019,.

He is the first specialist winger to claim the award, that has often gone to forwards over the years.

Koroibete's World Cup campaign saw him storm home to claim the medal, leapfrogging Samu Kerevi in the process.


Michael Hooper finished third after yet another consistent season while Izack Rodda and Tolu Latu had their highest finishes in the count, after putting in solid efforts every week.

It's incredible to think this was just Koroibete's third season in professional rugby after leaving the NRL's Melbourne storm at the end of 2016.

May there be more to add to the highlights reel in years to come.



Marika Koroibete - 200

Samu Kerevi - 150

Michael Hooper - 141

Izack Rodda - 119

Tolu Latu - 103

8:53pm - Shawn Mackay Men's Sevens Player of the Year

Maurice Longbottom has taken out the top award for the men's Sevens after an impressive second season.

"Moz" stepped up his influence on games in his second season with the team and has been duly rewarded, beating out skipper Lewis Holland and returning veteran Nick Malouf for the award.


8:50pm - Shawn Mackay Women's Sevens Player of the Year

Charlotte Caslick was back to some of her best form this year and the superstar showed a different side in the 2018-19 season.

Caslick's toughness was revealed for all to see this season after she played the back end of the Dubai Sevens with a broken hand and torn ligament, an injury that forced her out of the Sydney 7s. 

She led the team's defensive statistics for much of the season as well and took on extra duties at times in the year, stepping up to the co-captaincy for two World Series tournaments.


8:45pm - Wallaby of the Year

Wallabies captain Michael Hooper does plenty of work each and every week and the fans have clearly taken notice.

The tireless no. 7 has been voted Australia's Wallaby of the Year for his work on the field in 2019, beating out some tight competition to take out the award.

Marika Koroibete finished second in the vote with Samu Kerevi, David Pocock and Izack Rodda rounding out the top five.

8:40pm - Wallaroos Player of the Year

Grace Hamilton took things to a new level in 2019 with an outstanding Test season.

Hamilton was Australia's best in almost every Test match they played and took the added responsibility of the captaincy in her stride.

Our hearts go out to the Hamilton family this week as well after the loss of Grace's father, John.

John was a huge figure in NSW country rugby and made an impact on many people across the state with his work ethic and passion for the game.

That has clearly been passed onto his three children - Grace, Leesa and Harry - who have all played or been involved in the game for much of their lives.

8:36pm - Super W Player of the Year

Youngster Tayla Stanford has beaten out some bigger name rivals to be named the Super W Player of the Year.

Stanford lit up the field this year with some ball-crashing runs and spectacular finishes.

A knee injury ended her hopes of a Test debut but Stanford proved herself as a talent to watch in years to come.


8:33pm - John Eales Medal Part 2

The leaderboard has really been shuffled around after the second block of votes. 

Centre Samu Kerevi's outstanding Rugby Championship form was clearly recognised by his teammates with the 26-year-old clear out in front with just the World Cup to come.

Winger Marika Koroibete has moved up to second in the list, with captain Michael Hooper not far behind in third.

Halfback Nic White has stormed into the top five despite off the back of his Rugby Championship and Bledisloe perfomances with Izack Rodda rounding out the front pack.


John Eales Medal after Rugby Championship

Samu Kerevi - 142

Marika Koroibete - 119

Michael Hooper - 90

Nic White - 75

Izack Rodda - 69

Isi Naisarani - 61

David Pocock - 55

Scott Sio - 53

Alan Alaalatoa - 52

Will Genia - 49

8:30pm - Super Rugby Player of the Year

Queensland skipper Samu Kerevi has been named the Super Rugby Player of the Year.

Kerevi was a standout for Queensland this year in an inconsistent season for the team.


Brumbies duo Rory Arnold and Allan Alaalatoa were the other nominees for this award in a tight race.

8:24pm - Try of the Year

It was a tightly-run race for the try of the year but halfback Nic White's Bledisloe stunner topped the lot.

White's score beat out Izack Rodda's Reds score against the Highlanders, two long-range efforts from Sevens stars NIck Malouf and Charlotte Caslick and a dancing Marika Koroibete five-pointer against Samoa.

8:17pm - Rookie of the Year

The judges couldn't split two rising stars in this category.

Wallabies youngster Jordan Petaia and Wallaroos' Alysia Lefau-Fakaosilea have topped the votes after having stellar debut seasons.


Expect to see plenty more from these two in the years to come.

8:11pm - U20s Player of the Year

Junior Wallabies skipper Fraser McReight has gone back-to-back with the U20s Player of the Year award.

McReight led the Junior Wallabies to their first World Rugby U20s final since 2011 when they took on France in the title decider this year.

He set the tone in defence but was also a threat in attack, making him a major obstacle for opponents.


Off the field, too, he set the standard with his leadership, creating a tight-knit culture within the Junior Wallabies outfit.

McReight had a tiny taste of Super Rugby this year but expect to see him plenty more in years to come.

8:08pm - John Eales Medal part 1

The leaderboard is up after the 2018 Spring Tour and the final Bledisloe of the year in Yokohama.

Lock Izack Rodda is somewhat of a surprise leader after the first block of matches, just ahead of backrow stars Michael Hooper and David Pocock. 

8:05pm - In Memoriam

Rugby has lost some giants of the game in 2019 and as is tradition on this night, it is time to pay tribute to those that are gone, but certainly not forgotten.

Vale all of these former Wallabies.

Robert John (Bob) Thompson – 18th  November 2018

John Edward Thornett – 4th January 2019

Kenneth Yanz – 5th February 2019

Peter Keith Dunn – 15th March 2019

Lloyd Clive (Mullenjaiwakka) McDermott – 6th April, 2019

Thomas Baxter – 4th August 2019

John William (Terry) MacBride – 24th August 2019

Richard (Dick) Taylor – 29th August 2019

Jeffrey Leonard Sayle - 30th September 2019 (Wallaby No. 510)

Bruce Malouf - 14th November 2019 (Wallaby no.628)

8:00pm - Community coach of the Year

Brisbane coach Va'asa Afa has helped a group of young players find their way in rugby.

Afa's charge's parents flooded the awards process with nominations for him, after his work with the Easts Tigers U9s team over recent years.

The parents praised Afa's work with his players on the field but also his commitment off the pitch, helping encourage each of the youngsters as people and players.

7:55pm - Joe French Award

Dr Sharron Flahive might not be well-known by the public but she is a part of the furniture of Australian rugby.

Flahive was the first female to become Chief Medical Officer at the Waratahs back in 1999 and she worked in that role for 20 years, only stepping away this season.

She has also worked with the Wallaroos this season, and has been entrusted with some of the most important roles that any rugby team requires.


7:50pm - Nick Farr Jones Spirit of Rugby Award

There are few names better known in Queensland rugby than Peter "Doubles" Daley.

"Doubles" has been involved with rugby since his school days at Brisbane's St Laurence's College and he has worked tirelessly to fundraise for the sport over the decades since.

Daley has raised more than $1 million for the QRU and sold hundreds of thousands of tickets in his time.


The Souths rugby stalwart fell on hard times this year after being diagnosed with cancer and Queensland's rugby community banded together to help repay the favours he has done for the game, raising money to aid in his treatment and recovery.

7:45pm - Referee of the Year

Former Queensland scrumhalf Nic Berry has been rewarded for his form with the whistle, taking out the Referee of the Year.

Berry's victory ends an Angus Gardner stranglehold on the award, after a super year for the relatively new referee.


This was just his second season in Super Rugby and Berry won selection in the Super Rugby semi-finals before being a part of eight matches in the Rugby World Cup.

Exciting times ahead for this whistle blower.


7:35pm - HSBC Volunteer of the Year

Palmerston duo Ben and Selina Blyton have made an incredible contribution to rugby in the NT. The pair have been recognised for all their work with this year's HSBC Volunteer of the Year award.


7:14pm - HALL OF FAME

The first awards of the evening are for two of Australia's greatest Wallabies.

Stephen Larkham and George Gregan become the latest inductees to the Wallaby Hall of Fame, 12 years after their retirements from international rugby.

Both are still among the most-capped players in Australian rugby history, with Gregan at the top of the list with 139 Tests.


Larkham is not available to accept his award, currently coaching with Munster.

Gregan currently works as a commentator with Fox Sports as well as having a number of other business interests.



6:45pm - GOLD CARPET

Before the formalities begin, Australia's top rugby stars and their partners hit the gold carpet.

Check out how the best women and men in rugby in Australia scrubbed up as they swapped their Asics for R.Ms tonight.


6:28pm - Countdown begins

You can take a look at all the behind the scenes action on Rugby Australia's social media channels throughout the night.

We'll have all the gold carpet action for you as soon as possible but if you're looking for a behind-the-scenes look at the Rugby Australia Awards, keep an eye on Rugby Australia's social media channels.

6pm - PREVIEW had a look at all the front runners for the major awards.

Take a look at those in contention for the top gongs.