Dan Carter hat-trick tops All Blacks’ awards haul

Michael Cheika poses after receiving the World Rugby Coach of the Year award. Picture: Getty Images

Michael Cheika poses after receiving the World Rugby Coach of the Year award. Picture: Getty Images

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The victorious All Blacks flew home with the William Webb Ellis trophy yesterday and a plethora of other baubles in the cargo hold.

The first squad to successfully defend a World Cup and win it for the third time departed yesterday afternoon after receiving more accolades at the World Rugby Awards in London on Sunday night.

New Zealand stand-off Dan Carter followed up his man-of-the-match performance in Saturday’s 34-17 final win over Australia by being crowned World Rugby player of the year for 2015.

Carter, who kicked 19 points including a sublime drop-goal in the 34-17 victory over Australia at Twickenham, has been recognised with the game’s most prestigious individual award for a third time, a mark also held by All Blacks captain Richie McCaw, who also played his last Test in the final.

The 33-year-old beat Scotland skipper and scrum-half Greig Laidlaw, New Zealand team-mate Julian Savea, Australia flanker Michael Hooper and No 8 David Pocock, and Wales second-row Alun Wyn Jones to the accolade.

New Zealand were inevitably named team of the year, while Michael Cheika was recognised as coach of the year after inheriting an Australia squad that was beset by disciplinary problems 12 months ago before turning them into World Cup runners-up.

New Zealand wing Nehe Milner-Skudder was named breakthrough player of the year in a category in which Scotland centre Mark Bennett was also nominated.

The winners were selected by an independent panel of judges, chaired by 1999 World Cup-winning captain John Eales and made up of former internationals, including the former Scotland and Lions skipper Gavin Hastings, media and the current tournament’s participating teams.

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