DHL Stormers all over SA Rugby awards

PUBLISHED: December 14, 2022

The DHL Stormers have been nominated as Team of the Year, while there are also five individual players and the Head Coach up for SA Rugby awards.

Following a season which saw them lift the Vodacom United Rugby Championship trophy, the team and some of the stand-out individuals have been recognised.

Frans Malherbe is on top of the caps list for the DHL Stormers along with his teammate and captain Steven Kitshoff and has been nominated as SA Rugby Player of the Year.

No.8 Evan Roos, who took multiple awards at the end of the inaugural Vodacom United Rugby Championship season, is up for the SA Rugby Young Player of the year, along with his teammate Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu.

The Junior Springbok captain Feinberg-Mngomezulu is also in line for the Junior Springbok Player of the Year award, while Suleiman Hartzenberg has also been nominated in the same category.

Willie Engelbrecht has been nominated as Carling Currie Cup Player of the Year for his exploits leading the Airlink Pumas to their maiden title before making the move to Cape Town.

DHL Western Province utility back Zintle Mpupha capped a wonderful season with a nomination as SA Rugby Women’s Player of the Year.

Head Coach John Dobson has also been nominated as the Coach of the Year along with national coach Jacques Nienaber and Airlink Pumas coach Jimmy Stonehouse.

SA Rugby announced the nominees in nine categories on Wednesday and the winners will be named in 2023, along with the annual OUTsurance Referee of the Year and the Provincial Women’s Player of the Year.

For the first time, media and SA Rugby stakeholders also voted for the Springbok Women’s Player of the Year, and the five nominees all played in the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand in October – last year’s winner Lusanda Dumke, 2019 winner Aseza Hele, as well as Zintle Mpupha, Aphiwe Ngwevu and Nadine Roos.

Mr Mark Alexander, President of SA Rugby, congratulated all the nominees on their performances and achievements in 2022.

“As we returned to normal after a few tough years due to the pandemic, it was really heart-warming to see rugby played on weekends all over the country and abroad, by schools, clubs, provincial unions, our franchises and national teams,” said Mr Alexander.

“This list of nominees honour those players who performed brilliantly week in and week out and I would like to congratulate all of them on their achievements in 2022.

“All of our national teams enjoyed some form of success and again underlined our status as one of the top rugby nations in the world. With that comes big responsibility though and our men and women in green and gold did us proud this year.

“On the local front, we saw excellent rugby played across the board. The DHL Stormers were deserved champions of the Vodacom United Rugby Championship after winning an all-South African final against the Vodacom Bulls, and the two Carling Currie Cup competitions delivered some of the best action seen in recent years, with especially the Airlink Pumas and Windhoek Draught Griquas underlining the fact that there is no such thing anymore as ‘minnow teams’ in South Africa.

“Our most sincere gratitude also goes out to every player, coach, administrator, referee, sponsor and all other significant role players for playing their part in making the 2022 season one for the ages.

“Next year the Boks will be defending the Webb Ellis Cup at the Rugby World Cup in France, our other national teams will again have full schedules and our franchises will be continuing their participation in the Northern Hemisphere in the Vodacom URC, Heineken Champions Cup and EPCR Challenge Cup, while the local season will also be jam-packed yet again.”

Like last season, when Evan Roos of the DHL Stormers walked away with the honours, the award for the Player of the Vodacom United Rugby Championship will be made at the conclusion of the competition next year.

The nominees are (in alphabetical order):

SA Rugby Player of the Year
Lukhanyo Am
Kurt-Lee Arendse
Eben Etzebeth
Siya Kolisi
Frans Malherbe

Springbok Women’s Player of the Year
Lusanda Dumke
Aseza Hele
Zintle Mpupha
Aphiwe Ngwevu
Nadine Roos

SA Rugby Young Player of the Year
Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu (Junior Springboks / South Africa ‘A’ / DHL Stormers)
Jaden Hendrikse (Springboks / Cell C Sharks)
Canan Moodie (Springboks / Vodacom Bulls)
Evan Roos (Springboks / DHL Stormers)
Henco van Wyk (South Africa ‘A’ / Emirates Lions)

Springbok Sevens Player of the Year
Selvyn Davids
Zain Davids
JC Pretorius

Junior Springbok Player of the Year
Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu

Suleiman Hartzenberg
Ruan Venter

Team of the Year
Airlink Pumas
DHL Stormers

Coach of the Year
John Dobson (DHL Stormers)
Jacques Nienaber (Springboks)
Jimmy Stonehouse (Airlink Pumas)

Carling Currie Cup Premier Division Player of the Year
Sebastiaan de Klerk (Airlink Pumas)
Willie Engelbrecht (Airlink Pumas)
Devon Williams (Airlink Pumas)

Carling Currie Cup First Division Player of the Year
Jaiden Baron (Boland Kavaliers)
Jaywinn Juries (Down Touch Griffons)
Duan Pretorius (Down Touch Griffons)