Richie McCaw and Jessy Trémoulière have been named World Rugby Men’s and Women’s 15s Players of the Decade, in association with Tudor, at the World Rugby Awards Special Edition.

Two-time Rugby World Cup-winning captain McCaw and France star Trémoulière topped a worldwide public vote on the best male and female 15s players between 2010-2019.

Portia Woodman, meanwhile, scooped two awards as she was named World Rugby Women’s Sevens Player of the Decade, in association with HSBC, while also topping the voting for the International Rugby Players’ Women’s 15s Try of the Decade.

Olympic gold medallist, Jerry Tuwai was named World Rugby Men’s Sevens Player of the Decade, in association with HSBC, while the International Rugby Players’ Men’s 15s Try of the Decade went to Jamie Heaslip.

New Zealanders McCaw and Woodman were also named in the World Rugby Men’s and Women’s 15s Teams of the Decade, in association with Mastercard.

“To be able to get an award like this is pretty humbling,” McCaw, who captained the All Blacks to victory at RWC 2011 and RWC 2015, said.

“When you’re in a team sport you rely on a good bunch of team-mates around you to have any sort of success, so I guess I was lucky for that. And, probably quite lucky [because] I only played half the decade.”

Commenting on her two awards, Woodman said: “The girls do so much work, we go through so many sacrifices throughout our lives.

“Even though you’ve been playing the game for nine years, you miss birthdays, you miss tangi, you miss seeing your whanau. But, it’s not necessarily a sacrifice for us, it’s a choice because we want to be where we are and living the dream.”

All Blacks and Black Ferns dominate Teams of the Decade

Woodman was one of six Black Ferns selected by the World Rugby Awards panel for the World Rugby Women’s 15s Team of the Decade, in association with Mastercard.

The RWC 2017 winner was named in the team alongside Fiao’o Faamausili, Eloise Blackwell, Linda Itunu, Kendra Cocksedge and Kelly Brazier.

World Rugby Hall of Fame inductee Maggie Alphonsi, who co-hosted the World Rugby Awards Special Edition alongside Alex Payne, was one of eight English women selected in the team. Rochelle Clark, Sophie Hemmings, Tamara Taylor, Katy Daley-Mclean, Emily Scarratt, Lydia Thompson and Danielle Waterman were also included, alongside French number eight, Safi N’Diaye.

“It’s super special to be recognised in that way,” unanimous pick Scarratt said. “To be put in a team with some of the names that are in that team is pretty cool.”

McCaw was one of seven past and present All Blacks to be named in the World Rugby Men’s 15s Team of the Decade, in association with Mastercard.

Owen Franks, Brodie Retallick and Sam Whitelock joined their former captain in the pack, while Dan Carter, Ma’a Nonu and Ben Smith lined up in the backs.

South Africa contributed three players, with Tendai Mtawarira, Bismarck du Plessis and Bryan Habana selected, while Conor Murray and Brian O’Driscoll represent Ireland. Australia’s David Pocock, Italy’s Sergio Parisse and Wales’ George North completed the line-up.

“I never expected something like this, obviously it’s a huge honour,” Parisse said.

“I thank World Rugby for this. It’s a really nice thing for my career, at the end, of course, of my career. The last 10 years were really exciting for me.”

‘It gives me more motivation’

Earlier in the evening, Italy flanker Maxime Mbandà, former Wales centre Jamie Roberts, Canada sevens star Pamphinette Buisa and South Africa’s Rugby World Cup-winning captain Siya Kolisi were all recognised for the outstanding service they provided to the public during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This is something that I want to do after my rugby career, and I’m glad that I started it now,” Kolisi said, speaking about the work his foundation does

“It gives me more motivation to work even harder and not forget that without rugby I would not have had this opportunity, and that’s why I’m so grateful. I’m always grateful for all my team-mates and my coaches here at SA Rugby and the union as well because without that success I don’t think I would have received the amount of support. 

“So, this is not only my hard work, my wife and the team, but it’s what we’ve done with Springbok rugby. Because I’m not the only guy doing stuff.”

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