The Black Ferns win big at the NZ Rugby awards
The Black Ferns have capped off a stellar season in being named team of the year at the annual New Zealand Rugby awards in Auckland.
It was the first time the side, who lifted the Women's Rugby World Cup for the fifth time in August, had have won the accolade.
It comes after they secured the team of the year title at the World Rugby Awards in Monaco in late November.
Black Ferns mentor Glenn Moore was named coach of the year, while star winger Portia Woodman's brilliant solo try against the United States in the World Cup semi-final, one of four she scored in the match, was voted fans' try of the year.
All Blacks lock and Crusaders captain Sam Whitelock collected two awards on Thursday night - player of the year and Super Rugby player of the year.
Sevens legend DJ Forbes, who retired in September, also collected two awards - All Blacks Sevens player of the year and the NZ Rugby Players Association's Kirk Award for his contribution to the game.
Black Ferns loose forward and Black Ferns Sevens captain Sarah Goss was named the women's player of the year after a World Cup campaign where she started every match.
Meanwhile, Black Ferns Sevens teammate Ruby Tui was named Black Ferns Sevens player of the year.
The newly introduced Duane Monkley and Fiao'o Fa'amausili Medals were presented for the first time to the best players in the men's national provincial championship and the women's Farah Palmer Cup.
Northland's Jack Goodhue and Counties Manukau's Hazel Tubic were the respective winners.
An impressive 12 months with the whistle resulted in Wellingtonian Ben O'Keeffe being named New Zealand referee of the year.
World Rugby's 2017 breakthrough player of the year, Rieko Ioane, added Māori player of the year to his collection.
NZ Rugby Award Winners
- Age Grade - Asafo Aumua (Wellington)
- Heartland Championship - Scott Cameron (Horowhenua Kapiti)
- All Blacks Sevens - DJ Forbes
- Black Ferns Sevens - Ruby Tui
- Duane Monkley Medal - Jack Goodhue (Northland)
- Fiao'o Fa'amausili Medal - Hazel Tubic (Counties Manukau)
- Super Rugby - Sam Whitelock (Crusaders)
- Māori - Rieko Ioane (Ngapuhi / Te Whanau a Apanui)
- Women - Sarah Goss
- Men - Sam Whitelock
- Coach - Glenn Moore (Black Ferns)
- Referee - Ben O'Keeffe
- Team - Black Ferns
- Try of the Year - Portia Woodman (Black Ferns)
- Volunteer of the Year - Sid Tatana (Wairarapa Bush)
Sam Whitelock took home a rare double at the NZ Rugby Awards on Thursday night.
The All Blacks lock was given the nod for both Super Rugby and overall men's player of the year.
The 29-year-old said it was "amazing" to receive the recognition but was eager to deflect praise to his teammates, singling out one in particular for special mention.
"My wife's been a massive influence on this year," Whitelock told media following the ceremony.
"She's been outstanding in the way she's helped me and also looked after our young child."
The hard-working forward has been at the heart of the engine room effort for both his Crusaders and the All Blacks through 2017.
"I've never gone out to try any individual things but I'm just so happy that I've been recognised, and so much credit has to go to the players, the fans, and the management."
Alongside leading the Crusaders to their eighth Super Rugby title, Whitelock also earned his first Test as All Blacks captain in the final match of the team's European tour against Wales.
Sarah Goss took home the prize for best overall womens player, while her Black Ferns side was named team of the year.