Michael Hooper continues to make history at the NSW Waratahs, with the newly-reappointed Wallabies captain securing his seventh Matt Burke Cup following the 2020 Super Rugby season.
In a broadcast hosted by Nick McCardle and Lousie Ransome via Cluch TV, New South Wales’ best and brightest were celebrated for some outstanding individual seasons.
Hooper was again selected by his peers as the side’s best player across the calendar year, joining the likes of past winners Tatafu Polota-Nau, Wycliff Palu, Phil Waugh and Dave Dennis.
There has been no player in NSW Waratahs history to have their named etched on the prestigious cup more times than Hooper.
Hooper’s numbers in Super Rugby AU were again impressive with 74 carries, 101 tackles and 13 turnovers won in eight fixtures.
He was joined in the winner’s circle by rookies, James Ramm and Tom Horton who were named joint winners of the Chris Whitaker Aspiring Waratah Medal – unable to be split by the coaching staff after standout debut seasons.
Lachlan Swinton – who took home the Aspiring Waratah Medal in 2019 – was awarded the NSW Waratahs Best Forward.
A hardman on and off the ball, Swinton found himself in Super Rugby AU’s top 10 for carries, tackles and lineouts won.
Will Harrison was named the Best Back, with Super Rugby AU’s leading point scorer beating 19 defenders across the competition and having 8 try assists to his name.
It’s been a breakout year for Harrison amongst a slew of other youngsters, with 19 players in total earning their first cap for New South Wales under Rob Penney.
The all-conquering Super W side were once again named Champions, maintaining an undefeated streak that has now stretched three seasons.
Wallaroos skipper, Grace Hamilton earnt back-to-back Super W Player of the Year titles after another standout season – with her leadership both on and off the field lauded throughout what was another successful campaign.
Adiana Talakai was named the squad’s best first year player, having made a successful switch from the backrow to hooker at the beginning of 2020.
Katrina Barker’s contribution in midfield saw her named Super W’s Best Back, with the side’s most capped centre proving a vital cog in Campbell Aitken’s attack in a season where the Waratahs Women ran in 131 points in four fixtures.
Evelyn Horomia was named Best Forward with one of the squad’s most experienced players acknowledged for her aggressive carries and work at the set piece.
To watch the entire NSW Waratahs 2020 Awards head to https://www.cluch.tv/
2020 NSW Waratahs Awards:
Super W Rookie of the Year – Adiana Talakai
Super W Best Back – Katrina Barker
Super W Best Forward – Evelyn Horomia
Super W Player of the Year – Grace Hamilton
Dave Dennis Elite Youth Development Player of the Year – Tane Edmed
Chris Whitaker Aspiring Waratah Medal – James Ramm & Tom Horton
Super Rugby Best Back – Will Harrison
Super Rugby Best Forward – Lachlan Swinton
Matt Burke Cup – Michael Hooper