Carter wins Player of the Year for a third time
DAN Carter completed a memorable weekend when, a day after being named Man of the Match in New Zealand's World Cup final victory over Australia, he was voted the sport's Player of the Year for a third time.
The All Blacks, the first team to win the tournament three times, were also named Team of the Year - for the sixth time in a row - at the ceremony in London on Sunday night.
Despite overseeing that back-to-back triumph, Steve Hansen missed out on a fourth successive Coach of the Year award as that went to Michael Cheika after his impressive turnaround of the Wallabies over the last year as he led them to the Rugby Championship title and runners-up spot in the World Cup.
Carter, who also won in 2005 and 2012, joins teammate and All Blacks captain Richie McCaw as the only triple winners of the award, which was first given in 2001.
He received the award ahead of five other nominees - All Blacks teammate Julian Savea, Australia flanker Michael Hooper and number eight David Pocock, Wales lock Alun Wyn Jones and Scotland scrum-half Greig Laidlaw.
Carter, 33, will now walk away from the international game after scoring a record 1,598 points from his 112 appearances - including 19 in the Twickenham final.
He is to join French club Racing Metro, where he is reportedly set to become the sport's highest-paid player.
It was the first time in four years that New Zealand had not taken the three main awards but they did get more on Sunday when Nehe Milner-Skudder, who scored the opening try of Saturday's final, was named Breakthrough Player of the Year and Kendra Cocksedge was given the Women's Player of the Year award.
Werner Kok of South Africa was voted Sevens Player of the Year while Nigel Owens, who took charge of the World Cup final, was given World Rugby's referee award.
The winners were selected by the awards' independent panel of judges, chaired by 1999 World Cup-winning captain John Eales and made up of former internationals, the media and the RWC 2015 participating teams.