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Last Updated: Sunday, 27 November 2005, 22:00 GMT
Carter named Player of the Year
Dan Carter
Carter was key to New Zealand's recent grand slam success
New Zealand fly-half Dan Carter has been named International Rugby Board Player of the Year at a gala dinner in Paris on Sunday.

His international coach Graham Henry was also recognised at the ceremony with the Coach of the Year accolade.

Carter edged countrymen Richie McCaw and Tana Umaga, as well as South African duo Bryan Habana and Victor Matfield to the award.

The All Blacks were also named Team of the Year.

Their coach said: "Over the last 12 months, Dan has made an outstanding transition from the centres to first five-eighth (fly-half). He has played some exceptional games and he's also a high percentage goal-kicker.

"As for the team, we've been very fortunate to have a chance at history this year.

"To win the New Zealand versus Lions Series, a Bledisloe Cup and Tri-Nations Series, and then have a shot at a grand slam is very special. The players and management deserve credit for that."

And in a virtual clean sweep on the night, New Zealand full-back Isaia Toeava was hailed as the Under-19 Player of the Year.

Australian hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau helped break the All Blacks' hegemony on the ceremony with the Under-21 Player of the Year honour.

Former French flanker Jean-Pierre Rives was rewarded with the IRB's Spirit of Rugby award, while the chairman's award went to ex-Welsh Rugby Union president Sir Tasker Watkins VC.

Awards in full:
Player of the Year: Dan Carter (New Zealand)
Coach of the year: Graham Henry (New Zealand)
Team of the Year: New Zealand
Under-21 Player of the Year: Tatafu Polota-Nau (Australia)
Under-19 Player of the Year: Isaia Toeava (New Zealand)
Spirit of Rugby award: Jean-Pierre Rives (France)
Chairman's award: Tasker Watkins (Wales)
Distinguished refereeing award: Paddy O'Brien (New Zealand)
Vernon Pugh award: Peter Crittle (Australia)
Sevens Team of the Year: Fiji
Sevens Player of the Year: Orene Ai'i (New Zealand)
Women's Personality of the Year: Farah Palmer (New Zealand)
Development Award: Robert Antonin (France)

Scotland 10-29 New Zealand
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