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Steenkamp secures top player prize


Gurthro Steenkamp

Gurthro Steenkamp

Gurthro Steenkamp

Prop Gurthro Steenkamp has been named the South African Player of the Year for 2010.

There are also accolades for promising Lions youngster Elton Jantjies and Western Province star Gio Aplon, both of whom have also been selected by coach Peter de Villiers for the Grand Slam tour to Britain and Ireland.

Bulls forward Steenkamp was outstanding for his franchise in the southern hemisphere Super rugby competition, which they went on to win, while he has also been an ever-present for the world champions this season.

He beat off competition from winger Aplon, center Juan de Jongh, scrum-half Francois Hougaard and flanker Schalk Burger for the South African Rugby Union (SARU) top prize.

But the 29-year-old, capped 31 times by his country, missed out on national selection for the trip to Europe after injury curtailed his season.

The consolation prize for Province back Aplon came in the form of the Players' Player of the Year award. The 28-year-old, another player who has been a fixture for the Springboks this season, was key for his union as they ended as runners-up in the Super 14 and domestic Currie Cup.

Jantjies, 20, was named Young Player of the Year and also claimed the title of SA Under-20 Player of the Year.

The Lions fly-half had an outstanding Currie Cup in which he scored 141 points to almost single-handedly revive his team after a poor start to the season.

His performances this season mean it is highly likely he will win his first Springbok cap some time this month.

Among the other major awards, Western Province boss Allister Coetzee was chosen as Coach of the Year, lock Andries Bekker was named the Super 14 Player of the Year, Bjorn Basson was voted the Currie Cup Player of the Year and the Bulls were selected as Team of the Year.