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Sunday, November 7, 1999 Published at 11:06 GMT

Horan named top World Cup player

Tim Horan was consistent throughout the tournament

Australian centre Tim Horan has won the coveted player of the tournament award after inspiring his team to their second World Cup final victory.

Horan was exceptional in both the semi-final defeat of South Africa and Saturday's 35-12 victory over France in the final.

[ image: Matt Burke's accurate kicking killed off the French challenge]
Matt Burke's accurate kicking killed off the French challenge
Speaking to BBC Five Live, Horan said he was "stunned" by the Famous Grouse award, presented to him on Sunday morning.

He also paid tribute to all the players in the Australian team who had contributed to winning the Webb Ellis Trophy.

"There's been some fantastic players in this tournament and I feel a little embarrassed to win this award," Horan said.

"I've always thought of rugby as a team game and it's really been a huge team effort by the Wallabies to win the World Cup."

He added that he would not be "thinking about rugby until after Christmas".

"I am looking forward to throwing a few prawns on the barbeque and having a few beers," said Horan.

'Fine achievement'

The 29-year-old was one of only three Australian players in Saturday's final who also played in the team that won the 1991 tournament.

He is the most experienced player in the squad with 78 caps and has played fly-half and wing for the Wallabies.

Horan said on Saturday he wanted to play one more year in the national team.

Judging panel chairman and Welsh legend Gareth Edwards said he was delighted Horan had won the award.

"He has been the most consistent Australian player throughout the tournament and his performances in the semi-final against South Africa and in the final against France were superb," said Edwards.

"On behalf of all the panellists, I would like to congratulate Tim on his fine achievement - truly one of the greatest players of all time."

Horan receives a gold trophy and £2,500, which he will donate to charity.

He played against South Africa despite suffering from a debilitating stomach virus.

He was man of the match in a group game against Ireland and scored a try after 92 seconds in the first game against Romania.

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