Sunday, 29 November 2009

IRB Player of the Year (Or Not...)

So All Blacks Captain Richie McCaw is the IRB Player of the Year for 2009 and he becomes the first ever player to win this accolade for the second time.  Except he's not really the player of the year, is he?

My, what a big cup you have

Richie McCaw spent a lot of 2009 injured, and in that time the All Blacks looked off colour, suffered as their 'aura' slipped and failed to win the Tri-Nations. McCaw is undoubtedly a class act and the best openside flanker in the world, but I think 2009 was BOD's year - and before you say it I'm English so I'm not biased!

With everything he achieved this year O'Driscoll should have walked this award.  He led Ireland to their first Grand Slam in 61 years and Ireland remained unbeaten in 2009; he was an instrumental cog in the Leinster team that lifted the Heineken Cup, and according to Ian McGeechan he formed half of "the best centre partnership in world rugby" alongside Jamie Roberts with the Lions in South Africa this summer.

Oh and he can plait sawdust and yesterday he knitted a rather fetching scarf from the fog that shrouded Croke Park.

My sentiments exactly Brian

Seriously - what else did O'Driscoll have to do to win this award?  He had an excellent season by his own high standards and effectively stuck two fingers up at all the critics who dared to question if he was past his best.
Brian was robbed, and I am not happy.


  1. Couldn't agree more Bamberio, although not sure about the fog scarf.
    Whilst I think that only international form counts for this award, thus BOD's sensational season with Leinster cannot be inculded, it seems clear to me that he was ahead of McCaw in the international arena. Not only did he captain Ireland to both a Grand Slam in the 6N and an undefeated run throughout 2009, but the man's importance to the team cannot be overestimated. In the 6N, when Ireland's backs were to the wall, BOD was the man who made the difference. He scored a try in four of the five games, including key one-man scores against England (along with a drop goal) and Wales, man-of-the-match performances in 3 out of 5 games, and was voted 6N player of the tournament (for the third time). McCaw is one of the greatest of modern rugby, but this has hardly been a vintage season for him. He missed several of NZ's tests through injury, and led the team in the 3N where they were comprehensivly beaten by SA. Indeed, whilst I feel that BOD certainly deserved the IRB award this year, SA's Fourie DuPreez can also feel aggreived at being beaten by McCaw.

  2. When BOD's stats are lined up like that it really makes a convincing case doesn't it?

    I wonder if Brian will be honoured by the BBC as overseas sports personality of the year? I hope so, but I doubt it.