Michael Cheika has been recognised for his rapid transformation of the Wallabies with the World Rugby Coach of the Year Award.
Cheika received a rousing ovation when he collected the honour at the World Rugby Awards dinner in London on Sunday in the wake of the Rugby World Cup.
Cheika took over the Wallabies’ reins less than a year out from the World Cup, with the team in turmoil following the sudden resignation of coach Ewen McKenzie, and took them to the 2015 Rugby Championship title then all the way to Saturday’s Rugby World Cup final.
All Blacks five-eighth Dan Carter was named World Player of the Year for the third time after steering his country to the 34-17 final victory over the Wallabies in his last international appearance.
The 33-year-old also won the award in 2005 and 2012.
Carter joins his All Blacks captain Richie McCaw as a three-time recipient of the prestigious accolade and follows in the footsteps of other previous winners such as Thierry Dusautoir, Bryan Habana and Jonny Wilkinson.
Carter is the all-time leading points scorer in international rugby with 1598 points to his name.
He received the Player of the Year award ahead of five other nominees – All Blacks teammate Julian Savea, Australia flanker Michael Hooper and No.8 David Pocock, Wales second-row Alun Wyn Jones and Scotland scrum-half Greig Laidlaw.
MAIN AWARDS WINNERS:
World Player of the Year – Dan Carter (New Zealand)
World Team of the Year – New Zealand
World Coach of the Year – Michael Cheika (Australia)
World Women’s Player of the Year – Kendra Cocksedge (New Zealand)
World Breakthrough Player of the Year – Nehe Milner-Skudder (New Zealand)
World Sevens Player of the Year – Werner Kok (South Africa)
World Women’s Sevens Player of the Year – Portia Woodman (New Zealand)
World Referee Award – Nigel Owens