Kiwis and Kiwi Ferns Player of the Year named
The 2017 Kiwis Player of the Year award has been named at the New Zealand Rugby League Annual Awards, with fullback Roger Tuivasa-Sheck taking top honours. (Photo: NRLPhotos).
Tuivasa-Sheck ended the 2017 World Cup with as New Zealand’s equal top try-scorer with three, the most carries (72) and the most metres carried (626).
Coach David Kidwell said such achievements were no small feat considering Tuivasa-Sheck had recently returned from a serious knee injury.
“In some cases, it takes a fair amount of time for a player to get back to fine form following such a serious injury, but Roger did everything right and ultimately showed great leadership at the back,” Kidwell said.
Women’s Player of the Year was claimed by Kiwi Ferns fullback, Apii Nicholls-Pualau, who made her international debut at the World Cup and stood out with a number of commanding performances.
Nicholls-Pualau topped the leaderboard for kick return metres at the World Cup, but was quick to downplay her achievement.
“I’m honoured to even be considered alongside players such as Teuila Fotu-Moala and Krystal Rota, let alone to win this award,” she said.
“There are a lot of people I have to thank for their on-going support including my incredible family – without them there is no way I could have dedicated as much time as I did to the sport I love.”
Kiwis Rookie of the Year was won by Nelson Asofa-Solomona.
Full list of NZRL Award winners:
Female Volunteer – Chantez Connor (Otaika Eagles/Northland)
Male Volunteer – Jack Newson (Hornby Panthers/Southern)
Grassroots Club –Taniwharau (Upper Central)
Domestic Coach – Morgan Kutia (Waikato)
Referee – Chris McMillan (Auckland)
Domestic Player 16s – Christian Tuipulotu (Akarana)
Domestic Player 18s – Tyler Slade (NZ Warriors)
Domestic Player Premier – Aaron Jolley (Waikato/Hamilton City Tigers)
Junior Player – Isaiah Papali’I (NZ Warriors)
Kiwis Rookie – Nelson Asofa-Solomona (Melbourne Storm)
Women’s Player – Apii Nicholls-Pualau (Manurewa Marlins/Counties Manukau)
Kiwis Player – Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (NZ Warriors)