New Zealand's Dan Carter wins World Rugby player of the year gong
New Zealand fly-half Dan Carter has followed up his man-of-the-match performance in Saturday's World Cup final by being crowned World Rugby player of the year for 2015.
Carter, who kicked 19 points including a sublime drop-goal in the 34-17 victory over Australia at Twickenham, has been recognised with the game's most prestigious individual award for a third time, a mark also held by All Blacks captain Richie McCaw.
The 33-year-old beat New Zealand team-mate Julian Savea, Australia flanker Michael Hooper and number eight David Pocock, Wales second-row Alun Wyn Jones and Scotland scrum-half Greig Laidlaw to the accolade.
New Zealand were inevitably named team of the year after becoming the first nation to defend the Webb Ellis Cup on Saturday, triumphing for an unprecedented third time.
Michael Cheika was recognised as coach of the year after inheriting an Australia squad that was beset by disciplinary problems 12 months ago before turning them into World Cup runners-up.
New Zealand wing Nehe Milner-Skudder was named breakthrough player of the year.
The winners were selected by an independent panel of judges, chaired by 1999 World Cup-winning captain John Eales and made up of former internationals, media and the current tournament's participating teams.