Michael Hooper has been awarded the John Eales Medal for 2020 taking out the player-led vote with 91 points.
The Wallabies captain wins back the award from Marika Koroibete who won it in 2019, making it the third time the Australian captain had won the prestigious award which is voted by all Wallabies players after the conclusion of each game in the 2020 season.
Koroibete came in second place by just three points, as the two players battled it out in top position.
The matches covered in this year’s voting commenced the Wallabies taking on New Zealand in Wellington and finished at home with the final eToro Tri-Nations match between Australia and Argentina at Bankwest Stadium.
Veteran front rower, James Slipper took third position on 79 points, with Nic White and Reece Hodge rounding out the top five with 61 and 56 points respectively
. The John Eales Medal completes a weeklong Rugby Australia Awards series that celebrated the best and brightest across the game this year.
After an impressive Vodafone Super Rugby AU campaign for the Queensland Reds, Taniela Tupou claimed the Vodafone Super Rugby Player of the Year Award. The Buildcorp Super W player of the Award was taken out by Brumbies backrower Ema Masi who was dominant throughout the Super W season.
After starring for the Queensland Reds and the Wallabies in his debut season, young Reds backrower Harry Wilson claimed the 2020 Rookie of the Year award.
The 2020 Nick Farr-Jones Spirit of Rugby Award was awarded to Garry Quinlivan, a legend of Brumbies and Canberra Rugby who has been volunteering for the club for over 25 years. Considered part of the fabric of the club, ‘Quinzo’ was honoured with a special visit from Rugby Australia Interim CEO, Rob Clarke, who presented the award in front of Brumbies representatives, along with some classic Brumbies players.
Amy Perrett claimed the Roger Vanderfield FedEx Referee of the Year Award for the second time; a year in which Perrett became the first woman to officiate a Super Rugby match.
In a challenging year for the Women’s and Men’s Sevens teams, both captains took the mantle with Sharni Williams and Nick Malouf winning the Shawn Mackay Award for best Sevens players in a season which has been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Rugby Australia Interim CEO, Rob Clarke said: “On behalf of the Australian Rugby community, I would like to congratulate all of our winners throughout the Rugby Australia Awards series. “I’d especially like to congratulate our Wallabies Captain, Michael Hooper on winning the John Eales Medal for a third time.
“Michael is an incredible Rugby player, an outstanding Captain and an excellent leader on-and-off the field. “The way he conducts himself is a credit to him and the values he lives his life by, and we congratulate him on his achievement.
“All our winners thoroughly deserve the accolades in what has been a challenging 2020.
“In particular, I would like to make mention of our 2020 Nick Farr-Jones Spirit of Rugby Award Garry ‘Quinzo’ Quinlivan.
“Quinzo has been part of the fabric of the Brumbies for over 25 years as a volunteer and it was an absolute honour to present the award to him in Canberra yesterday.”
2020 Rugby Australia Awards Winners
Shawn Mackay Award- Women’s Sevens Player of the Year, Sharni Williams OAM
Shawn Mackay Award- Men’s Sevens Player of the Year, Nick Malouf
Buildcorp Super W Player of the year, Ema Masi
Vodafone Super Rugby AU Player of the Year, Taniela Tupou
Roger Vanderfield FedEx Referee of the Year, Amy Perrett
Rugby Australia Rookie of the year, Harry Wilson
Nick Farr-Jones Spirit of Rugby Award, Garry Quinlivan
John Eales Medal, Michael Hooper