Super Rugby


10/19/2018

Queenslanders claim top honours at 2018 Rugby Australia Awards night


Queensland Rugby was front and centre at the 2018 Rugby Australia Awards night, with four Queenslanders scooping five awards at the gala event in Sydney.

Taniela Tupou, Evania Pelite, Fraser McReight and community coach Matthew Chapman were among the winners on stage, as fellow Queenslander Lukhan Tui placed runner-up to 2018 John Eales Medallist David Pocock.  

Tui finished 123 votes behind Pocock, who capped off his stellar return to international Rugby by claiming a second John Eales Medal, having previously collected the top award in 2010.

After making his Wallabies debut off the bench at Murrayfield against Scotland in 2017 and earning selection as a reserve in all three of Australia’s June Tests against Ireland earlier this year, St.George Queensland Reds star Taniela Tupou celebrated a breakout maiden season of international Rugby, winning the Rugby Australia Rookie of the Year.

It proved a night to remember for Tupou who went on to claim a second award. 

After establishing himself as the Reds starting tight-head prop in 2018, Tupou was crowned the Vodafone Super Rugby Player of the Year.

Also taking top honours on the night was Queensland’s Australian Sevens and Olympic Gold Medallist star Evania Pelite, who scooped the Women’s Sevens Player of the Year award named in memory of the late Shawn MacKay.

Fresh off his National Rugby Championship (NRC) season with Brisbane City, Queensland Pathway product and Brothers back-rower, Fraser McReight, was named the U20s Player of the Year. 

Queensland’s Matthew Chapman from Miami State High on the Gold Coast was judged the outstanding Community Coach in 2018.

Chapman has established a Sevens school of excellence for both boys and girls at Miami and was also an Assistant Coach for Griffith University in the AON Sevens competition this year. 

Queensland Rugby Union QAS Sevens High Performance Manager, Lachlan Parkinson said: “Putting that school of excellence in there at Miami, in a really important pathway corridor for Queensland Rugby. 

“Having kids doing Sevens in a school is massive for the game, as there’s no one else doing it quite like they’re doing it at Miami at the moment. Matt drove all of that and he deserves this award.

“A lot of the girls in our Queensland program have come out of the Gold Coast. It’s a massive breeding ground of talent for girls who have later progressed onto State and AON University Sevens level. To have that Pathway coming out of the Gold Coast is really important to ensure we continue to produce the best talent.

“Evania is in the best form of her life at the moment, so it’s no surprise she’s taken out this award. She was a part of our very first Queensland Sevens team, so she was a pioneer from the very start and has gone on to win an Olympic Gold medal, to now being one of the best players in that Australian team,” said Parkinson.

Rugby Australia Awards 2018 Award Winners 
HSBC Volunteer of the Year: Ian Frame (Knox Rugby Club)
HSBC Volunteer of the Year: Tilly Vlok (Box Hill Rugby Club)
Roger Vanderfield TNT Referee of the Year: Angus Gardner
Nick Farr-Jones Spirit of Rugby Award: Scott Fardy
Joe French Award: Ron Graham
Geoff ‘Bunter’ Shaw Community Coach of the Year Award: Matthew Chapman (Miami State High)
Under 20s Player of the Year: Fraser McReight (Queensland)
Rugby Australia Rookie of the Year: Taniela Tupou (Qantas Wallabies)

Rugby Australia Try of the Year: Taqele Naiyaravoro v Rebels (Round 5 – Super Rugby)
Buildcorp Super W Player of the Year: Shanice Parker (NSW Women)
Vodafone Super Rugby Player of the Year: Taniela Tupou (Queensland Reds)
Australia’s Choice – Qantas Wallaby of the Year: David Pocock
Buildcorp Women’s XV Player of the Year: Emily Chancellor
The Shawn MacKay Award – Men’s Sevens Player of the Year: Ben O’Donnell
The Shawn MacKay Award – Women’s Sevens Player of the Year: Evania Pelite
John Eales Medal: David Pocock

2019 Memberships