Josh van der Flier named world player of the year

Ireland’s Josh van der Flier has been named as World Rugby men’s player of the year for 2022.

The 29-year-old has enjoyed an outstanding year in which he helped Ireland claim a historic first Test series win in New Zealand and take top spot in the world rankings.

The flanker was presented with the honour at the world governing body’s awards ceremony in Monaco on Sunday evening.

He beat off competition from Irish team-mate Johnny Sexton – winner of the award in 2018 – Lukhanyo Am of South Africa and France’s Antoine Dupont, last year’s victor.

Van der Flier started all 11 of Ireland’s Tests in 2022, scoring four tries.

New Zealand co-captain Ruahei Demant won the women’s player of the year award for her role in the Black Ferns’ recent World Cup success. Alex Matthews, of beaten finalists England, was among the nominees.

In a double for the New Zealand women’s side, Wayne Smith was named world coach of the year. Simon Middleton of England women and Andy Farrell of Ireland men were among those to miss out.