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NZ lock Retallick world rugby player of year

November 22, 2014

CARDIFF, Wales (AP) — New Zealand lock Brodie Retallick was named world rugby player of the year on Saturday after helping the All Blacks beat Wales 34-16.

Retallick, who made his debut in 2012, played in his 36th test for his 33rd win.

His workrate and powerful runs came to the fore this year, and his second-row partnership with Sam Whitelock has made them a pair to be feared.

Retallick was shortlisted by World Rugby, the new name for the International Rugby Board, for the award with fellow All Black Julian Savea, South Africa fullback Willie le Roux and No. 8 Duane Vermuelen, and Ireland flyhalf Jonathan Sexton.

He’s the fourth New Zealander to receive the award, following Richie McCaw (2006, 2009, 2010), Dan Carter (2005, 2012) and Kieran Read (2013).

The top-ranked All Blacks were also named team of the year for an eighth time, and Steve Hansen coach of the year for a third time in succession.

This year, New Zealand equalled the record of 17 straight wins by a major team, won another Rugby Championship, retained the Bledisloe Cup, whitewashed England in June, and swept its November tests against England, Scotland and Wales and the United States.

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