Duane Vermeulen and the Bulls cleaned up at the SA Rugby Awards for the 2020 season.
For the second time in his career, Vermeulen walked away with SA Rugby Player of the Year award while his team, the Vodacom Bulls, dominated nearly every other category.
Bulls centre Stedman Gans was named Springbok Sevens Player of the Year after his admirable contributions to the Blitzboks winning two tournaments out of six to finish second overall on the global standings.
The Lions were represented by the exciting young Wandisile Simelane who named Young Player of the Year.
Vermeulen, who led the Vodacom Bulls to two titles last season, including the Carling Currie Cup for the first time since 2009, also won the Vodacom Super Rugby / Unlocked Player of the Year Award for 2020.
Bulls centre Cornal Hendricks capped a brilliant season with the Carling Currie Cup Player of the Year award while Jaco Peyper was named the OUTsurance Referee of the Year.
It thus came as no surprise that the Bulls bagged the Team of the Year award and Jake White the Coach of the Year award.
“It was a very tough season but Duane was superb – not only on the field, where his performances were on par with the very high standard we’ve become accustomed to from him, but he also led the Vodacom Bulls with aplomb as our teams had to navigate numerous new curve balls and challenges,” said Mr Mark Alexander, President of SA Rugby.
“I would like to congratulate Jake and the Vodacom Bulls on their season, as well as Wandisile, Cornal, Stedman and Jaco, but I also have to acknowledge all our teams and players who worked tirelessly under difficult circumstances to ensure that we saw some rugby on local soil in 2020.
“A lot of hard work went into making the season a reality and I would like to thank everyone who played a part in making it happen, especially our broadcast partner and sponsors, who stuck with us through tumultuous times.
“The pandemic has been disruptive to people from all walks of life and apart from the hard work done in training, first at home and later back at their team bases, it was heartening to see our players rolling up their sleeves and also helping fellow South Africans who are not as fortunate. We saw yet again that we are stronger together.”
The winners and finalists for 2020 are:
View this post on Instagram
SA Rugby Player of the Year: Duane Vermeulen
Finalists: Curwin Bosch, Cornal Hendricks, Steven Kitshoff, Frans Steyn
SA Rugby Young Player of the Year: Wandisile Simelane
Finalists: Curwin Bosch, Stedman Gans, Ruan Nortje, Dylan Richardson
Springbok Sevens Player of the Year: Stedman Gans
Finalists: Angelo Davids, Selvyn Davids
Team of the Year: Vodacom Bulls
Finalists: Cell C Sharks, Springbok Sevens
Coach of the Year: Jake White
Finalists: Sean Everitt, Neil Powell
Vodacom Super Rugby and Unlocked Player of Year: Duane Vermeulen
Finalists: Frans Steyn, Marco van Staden
Carling Currie Cup Player of the Year: Cornal Hendricks
Finalists: Marco van Staden, Duane Vermeulen
OUTsurance Referee of the Year: Jaco Peyper