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Thu Dec 08 18:03:38 SAST 2016

Lood locks onto SA's top rugby award

CRAIG RAY | 2016-02-26 07:08:58.0
South Africa's lock Lood de Jager (C) catches the ball in a line out during a quarter final match of the 2015 Rugby World Cup between South Africa and Wales at Twickenham stadium, southwest London, on October 17, 2015. File photo
Image by: AFP PHOTO / LIONEL BONAVENTURE

Last night, Lood de Jager became the first lock since Hennie Bekker in 1983 to be crowned the South African Rugby Player of the Year.

The 23-year-old Springbok is also the youngest player to win the award since 22-year-old Bryan Habana claimed the gong in 2005.

De Jager, who plays for the Cheetahs, is only the third lock to win the award since its inception in 1977 - following Moaner van Heerden (1977) and Bekker.

De Jager edged out Damian de Allende, Eben Etzebeth, Schalk Burger and Jaco Kriel for the top award.

"Personally I had an unbelievable year with the Springboks, although it was a bit up and down for the team," said De Jager.

OTHER WINNERS:

Players' Player of the Year Award: Jaco Kriel
Currie Cup Premier Division Player of the Year: Jaco Kriel
Team of the Year: Golden Lions
Coach of the Year: Johan Ackermann
Super Rugby Player of the Year: Damian de Allend
Young Player of the Year: Jesse Kriel
SA Under-20 Player of the Year: Warrick Gelant
Springbok Sevens Player of the Year: Werner Kok

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