Black Ferns star Ruahei Demant wins World Rugby’s top prize

The World Cup winning Black Ferns have won several gongs at the World Rugby awards in Monaco, with first-five Ruahei Demant named Women’s 15s Player of the Year.

Photo: Aaron Gillions /

Demant beat out four other contenders for the top prize, including the Black Ferns wing Portia Woodman.

Canada skipper Sophie de Goede, England flanker Alex Matthews and France halfback Laure Sansus were also in contention.

New Zealand co-captain Ruahei Demant was at the heart of the Black Ferns journey to becoming World Cup winners on home soil and was a constant threat to opposing defences.

Woodman, who scored seven tries at the World Cup in New Zealand to take her tournament tally to a record 20, is a previous winner of the Women’s 15s Player of the Year.

The Black Ferns coach Wayne Smith was named Coach of the Year, while wing Ruby Tui, who made her international debut earlier this season, took the prize for Women’s 15s Breakthrough player of the Year.

Smith led the Black Ferns to a sixth Rugby World Cup triumph, and first on home soil, beating England in the final.

Tui scored eight tries for the Black Ferns in her debut season and was a key member of the World Cup winning squad.

There are four Black Ferns in the the Women’s 15s Team of the Year, Demant, Woodman, Tui, and midfielder Theresa Fitzpatrick.

There were no All Blacks nominated for Men’s 15s Player of the Year and no New Zealanders made the shortlists for the Men’s or Women’s sevens Player of the Year.

Ireland’s Josh van der Flier was named Men’s 15s player of the Year.

There are two All Blacks in the Men’s Team of the Year, lock Sam Whitelock and wing Will Jordan.

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