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McCaw claims top player prize

New Zealand captain Richie McCaw has been named International Rugby Board player of the year for 2010.

It is the second successive year McCaw has landed the award and the third time in total, having also been honoured in 2006.

The 29-year-old flanker won the vote ahead of fellow All Black Mils Muliaina, Victor Matfield, Imanol Harinordoquy, David Pocock and Kurtley Beale.

It completed a hat-trick of awards for New Zealand, who were named team of the year with Graham Henry unveiled as coach of the year for a record fourth time.

"It's been a good year and everyone has made a huge effort, from the coaches right through all the players," said McCaw. "It's been a lot of fun as well to work with quality players, and I just love playing rugby and especially international rugby."

McCaw led the All Blacks to a record of 13 wins from 14 matches during 2010, including a Tri Nations title and a successful grand slam tour of Britain and Ireland.

"This award is very special but wouldn't happen without an exceptional team who are good mates and that's something I am equally proud of," added McCaw.

Henry, who was also coach of the year in 2005, 2006 and 2008, paid tribute to his back-room staff and to McCaw.

"I'm very proud to be awarded this honour again," said Henry.

"The award reflects the hard work of the team and I'm delighted the All Blacks have also been named team of the year. I'm extremely fortunate to have a group of guys who are exceptionally good at what they do. Richie is a phenomenal captain. He just gets better and better the more he does it."

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