The accolades are starting to arrive for the All Blacks World Cup-winning captain, Richie McCaw.
Last night, McCaw was named the overall winner at the Sir Richard Hadlee Sport Canterbury awards at CBS Canterbury Arena.
Despite battling a foot injury all season, McCaw led the All Blacks to victory over France in the cup final in Auckland last month.
He also played a reduced on-field role – but similarly influential – in the Crusaders' campaign earlier this year when the team reached the final of the Super 15 competition without playing a match in Christchurch after the February 22 earthquake damaged AMI Stadium.
McCaw received the overall crown after winning the sportsman award, while the Crusaders' remarkable run to the final against the Queensland Reds in Brisbane earned them the team of the year title. McCaw was unable to be at the awards because he was attending a wedding.
His parents collected the titles on his behalf, while coach Todd Blackadder represented the Crusaders.
McCaw vied with the sportswoman winner, triathlete Andrea Hewitt, and the Crusaders for the overall honours. Hewitt clinched the women's award after capturing two world cup series wins in Beijing and Yokohama.
Hewitt beat a well-performed group of finalists comprising leading New Zealand lawn bowler Jo Edwards, double international Sophie Devine and rower Eve Macfarlane, whose quadruple sculls crew qualified for the London Olympics.
World youth mountain-bike champion Anton Cooper rode off with the young sportsman award, while talented teenage swimmer Sophia Batchelor, who attended the world championships in China, was the top young sportswoman.
- The Press