LONDON (Reuters) - New Zealand’s Kieran Read was named world player of the year as the all-conquering All Blacks completed a second successive clean sweep of the IRB’s annual awards on Tuesday.
Steve Hansen was named coach of the year for the second year running and New Zealand captured the team of the year award for the fourth consecutive occasion.
Read beat off competition from compatriot Ben Smith, South Africa’s Eben Etzebeth, Wales’s Leigh Halfpenny and Italy’s Sergio Parisse for the International Rugby Board accolade.
Number eight Read, 28, has been in dominating form for New Zealand, who capped a perfect year in which they won all 14 of their test matches with a stunning comeback victory over Ireland at the end of November.
New Zealand’s Dan Carter won last year’s player of the year award.
“This is fantastic recognition of a very special team,” New Zealand Rugby chairman Mike Eagle said in an IRB statement.
“We are very proud of what Steve, Kieran and the team have achieved in 2013 as they have worked hard to be the best, and we congratulate them on these awards.”
New Zealand Rugby chief executive Steve Tew added: ”Kieran deserves particular acknowledgement for the remarkable season he has put in both on and off the field.
“The fact this is Steve’s second straight coach of the year award is also significant and deserves our congratulations.”
Reporting by Toby Davis; editing by Rex Gowar