Investec Stormers’ Springbok flanker Schalk Burger is the 2004 Absa SA Rugby Player of the Year. Burger, who was one of five nominees for SA Rugby’s top award, was crowned at the annual Absa SA Rugby Awards banquet in Sandton on Monday night.
Burger had been nominated in three categories – the Absa SA Rugby Player of the Year, Sasol Most Promising Player and Vodacom Rugby Super 12 Player of the Tournament.
The other nominees for the award were Burger’s fellow Investec Stormers De Wet Barry and Marius Joubert as well as Bakkies Botha and Os Du Randt.
Previous winners of the coveted award include Ashwin Willemse, Joe van Niekerk, Andre Vos, Breyton Paulse and Andre Venter.
The 2004 Players’ Player of the Year Award, which is chosen by the country’s professional players, was awarded to Springbok prop Os Du Randt, who this year made a triumphant return to Test rugby.
The Sasol Most Promising Player of the Year Award was won by Bok centre Bryan Habana, who had also been nominated in three categories – Sasol Most Promising Player, Absa Currie Cup Player of the Tournament and Vodacom Cup Player of the Tournament.
In the competition specific award categories, Investec WP centre De Wet Barry was chosen as the Vodacom Rugby Super 12 Player of the Tournament, SA “A” centre Ettienne Botha was named the Absa Currie Cup Player of 2004 and Lions winger John Daniels was voted the Vodacom Cup Player of 2004.
The SuperSport Try of the Year award went to Bok lock Victor Matfield for his decisive score against Australia in the Vodacom Tri-Nations Test in Durban.
Nominees in the 6 main award categories were determined by votes from the country’s rugby media and the panel of judges comprising leading rugby journalists and SA Rugby representatives, voted to determine the respective winners.
The full list of Award winners is as follows:
Absa SA Rugby Player of the Year 2004: Schalk Burger (Investec Western Province)
Players’ Player of the Year: Os du Randt (Vodacom Cheetahs)
Sasol Most Promising Player of the Year 2004: Bryan Habana (Lions)
Vodacom Rugby Super 12 Player of the Tournament 2004: De Wet Barry (Investec Stormers)
Absa Currie Cup Player of the Tournament 2004: Ettienne Botha (Mobil Blue Bulls)
Vodacom Cup Player of the Tournament 2004: John Daniels (Lions)
SuperSport Try of the Year 2004: Victor Matfield – try vs Australia in Vodacom Tri-Nations, Absa Stadium,
The following Awards were voted for by SA Rugby representatives (ie coaches, selectors, managers etc ) involved in the specific area of the sport.
SA Sevens Player of the Season: Kabamba Floors (Absa Eagles)
SA Under-21 Player of the Season: Derick Hougaard (Mobil Blue Bulls)
SA Under 19 Player of the Season: Heinke vd Merwe (Lions)
SuperSport Club Champs Player of the Tournament: Nelis Nel (Pukke)
Coca-Cola Players of the Tournament: Luvuyo Mhlobiso (Mighty Elephants)
Women’s Rugby Achievement Award: Ronwin Kelly (Eastern Province)
Marriott Refereeing Achievement Award: Jenny Bentel