Eva Karpani claims Wallaroos Player of the Year

Wed, Feb 7, 2024, 9:49 AM
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
Eva Karpani has claimed the Wallaroos Player of the Year. Photo: Getty Images
Eva Karpani has claimed the Wallaroos Player of the Year. Photo: Getty Images

Eva Karpani has capped off a remarkable 2023 after being named the Wallaroos Player of the Year.

The tight-head prop started in all eight games for the Wallaroos in 2023, delivering multiple dominant performances.

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"To be honest, I was just happy to be here and catch up with the girls and reunite," a humble Karpani said.

"I don't think an award shows how much we've done over the past 12 months so I'm generally humbled and grateful."

The highlight of Karpani’s incredible year came in their historic win over France in WXV 1 in October.

The 27-year-old’s 71-minute shift will go down as one of the finest in Wallaroo history after scoring a hat-trick in the 29-20 win.

It secured their first in WXV tournament history, defeating the third-ranked French for the first time in close to a decade.

She then backed this up with a damaging try against Wales, carrying multiple defenders over the line to secure the 25-19 win.

Her stunning finish to the season saw Karpani (146 votes) pip Ashley Marsters (140), who missed the win over France and came off the bench against England and Wales.

2022 winner Georgina Friedrichs finished third (118 votes) after another strong year in gold.

She is the first front-rower to win the award since Hilisha Samoa in 2017, continuing her unconventional rise after initially spotted playing Sevens in Adelaide.

"I have so much confidence in this team," Karpani said about the future of the Wallaroos.

"It's going to be hard work but I have all the confidence in the world for us to build in a pre-World Cup year."

Buildcorp Wallaroos Player of the Year – Final Points:

1. Eva Karpani – 146 pts

2. Ashley Marsters – 140

3. Georgina Friedrichs – 118