Izaia Perese has capped a stunning return to Super Rugby by winning the Matt Burke Cup following his devasting form in the 2021 Super Rugby AU and Trans-Tasman competitions.
Perese was selected by his peers as the side’s best player across the calendar year, joining the likes of past winners Michael Hooper, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Wycliff Palu, Phil Waugh and Dave Dennis.
Perese’s numbers in the two Super Rugby competitions were impressive, leading the team in tackle busts despite playing nine of the 13 total matches, averaging over four a match.
Max Douglas joined Perese in the winner’s circle and named winner of the Chris Whitaker Aspiring Waratah Medal. Douglas featured in six of the Waratahs 13 matches in his debut season and was a role model off the field running coaching clinics in his own time.
Lachlan Swinton was awarded the NSW Waratahs Best Forward for the second consecutive season and has firmly established himself in Dave Rennie’s Wallaby squad. Swinton was a standout for the Waratahs in their Trans-Tasman campaign, finishing the tournament with the 3rd most carries and tackles in the competition.
Waratahs skipper Jake Gordon was named the side’s Best Back, leading the team superbly during a difficult season and scoring three tries along the way.
Teddy Wilson won the Dave Dennis Elite Youth Development Player of the Year after a remarkable first year out of school where he represented the Waratahs A side, earned selection in the Junior Wallabies side, and made his 1st grade debut for Eastern Suburbs.
The all-conquering Waratahs Super W side were once again named Champions, maintaining an incredible undefeated streak that has now stretched across four seasons.
Arabella McKenzie has taken out the Super W player of the year award, steering the side brilliantly at flyhalf in 2021. McKenzie was leading point scorer in the competition scoring 39 points in three matches including a personally tally of 15 points in the Super W Final.
Margot Vella was named the squad’s Rookie of the Year after scoring three tries in three matches in her debut season including two in the Grand Final.
Maya Stewart took out the Super W’s Best Back award and continued her try scoring form in the 2021 campaign. Stewart found the try line seven times this season and has now scored an incredible 19 tries in just 12 games since making her Super W debut.
Emily Chancellor was named Best Forward with one of the squad’s most experienced players acknowledged for her incredible work at the breakdown and work rate around the park.
2021 NSW Waratahs Awards:
Super W Rookie of the Year – Margot Vella Super W Best Back – Maya Stewart Super W Best Forward – Emily Chancellor Super W Player of the Year – Arabella McKenzie
Dave Dennis Youth Player of the Year – Teddy Wilson Chris Whitaker Aspiring Waratah Medal – Max Douglas Super Rugby Best Back – Jake Gordon Super Rugby Best Forward – Lachlan Swinton Matt Burke Cup – Izaia Perese