Burger Player of the Year

Cape Town - Springbok flanker Schalk Burger is the 2004 SA Rugby Player of the Year.

Burger, who was one of five nominees for SA Rugby's top award, was crowned at the annual SA Rugby Awards banquet in Sandton on Monday night.

Burger had been nominated in three categories - the SA Rugby Player of the Year, Most-Promising Player and Super 12 Player of the Tournament.

The other nominees for the award were Burger's fellow Boks De Wet Barry, Bakkies Botha, Os du Randt and Marius Joubert.

Previous winners of the coveted award include Ashwin Willemse, Joe van Niekerk, André Vos, Breyton Paulse and André Venter.

The 2004 Players' Player of the Year Award, which is chosen by the country's professional players, was awarded to Springbok prop Os du Randt, who this year made a triumphant return to Test rugby.

Nominated in three categories

The Most-Promising Player of the Year Award was won by Bok centre Bryan Habana, who had also been nominated in three categories - Most-Promising Player, Currie Cup Player of the Tournament and Vodacom Cup Player of the Tournament.

In the competition specific award categories, Bok centre De Wet Barry was chosen as the Super 12 Player of the Tournament, SA A centre Ettienne Botha was named the Currie Cup Player of 2004 and Lions winger John Daniels was voted the Vodacom Cup Player of 2004.

The SuperSport Try of the Year award went to Bok lock Victor Matfield for his decisive score against Australia in the Tri-Nations Test in Durban.

Nominees in the six main-award categories were determined by votes from the country's rugby media and the panel of judges comprising leading rugby journalists and SA Rugby representatives, voted to determine the respective winners.

The full list of award winners is:

SA Rugby Player of the Year 2004: Schalk Burger (Western Province)

Players' Player of the Year: Os du Randt (Cheetahs)

Most-Promising Player of the Year 2004: Bryan Habana (Lions)

Super 12 Player of the Tournament 2004: De Wet Barry (Western Province)

Currie Cup Player of the Tournament 2004: Ettienne Botha ( Blue Bulls)

Vodacom Cup Player of the Tournament 2004: John Daniels (Lions)

SuperSport Try of the Year 2004: Victor Matfield - the try against Australia in Vodacom Tri-Nations, Absa Stadium,

The following awards were voted for by SA Rugby representatives (coaches, selectors, managers and so forth) involved in the specific area of the sport.

SA Sevens Player of the Season: Kabamba Floors (Eagles)

SA Under-21 Player of the Season: Derick Hougaard (Blue Bulls)

SA Under-19 Player of the Season: Heinke van der Merwe (Lions)

SuperSport Club Champs Player of the Tournament: Nelis Nel (Pukke)

Coca-Cola Players of the Tournament: Luvuyo Mhlobiso (Mighty Elephants)

Women's Rugby Achievement Award: Ronwin Kelly (Eastern Province)

Marriott Refereeing Achievement Award: Jenny Bentel.

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