Kendra Cocksedge has become the first woman in history to win the highest accolade in New Zealand rugby when she won the Kelvin R Tremain Memorial player of the year at the 2018 ASB Rugby Awards.
The 30-year-old Black Ferns and Canterbury halfback who has played 47 tests, also picked up two other awards, the Fiao'o Faamausili Medal for her performance in the Farah Palmer Cup and the NZ Rugby women’s player of the year.
Cocksedge joins previous Kelvin R Tremain Memorial player's of the year on the trophy including Kieran Read, Beauden Barrett, Richie McCaw, Dan Carter and Sam Whitelock.
"It puts women's rugby on the national stage," Cocksedge said after winning the award.
"I'm hoping there's a young me out there watching and hoping to aspire to win an award like this in the future.
"It's cool for me to be able to be the person to do it and hopefully give back and give a young girl the opportunity to live the dream that I get to live."
The women’s success continued with the Black Ferns Sevens team named the New Zealand team of the year.
The NZRPA Kirk Award was presented to legends All Blacks centurion Keven Mealamu and Black Ferns skipper Fiao'o Faamausili for their contributions to the game off the field. (See article on this website for more information and comments from them.)
The Super Rugby Crusaders team won the national team of the year with their first-five Richie Mo’unga winning Super Rugby player of the year. His team mate Codie Taylor took home the tallest and biggest trophy of the night when he won the Tom French Memorial trophy for Maori Player of the Year.
Sevens player of the year went to co-captain Scotty Curry and World Rugby Women's Seven player of the year Michaela Blyde.
On the provincial front, the Duane Monkley Medal for the Mitre 10 Cup performance went to Canterbury lock Luke Romano.
In the coach of the year categories, Auckland head coach Alama Ieremia won the ASB national coach of the year and Clark Laidlaw won the ASB New Zealand coach of the year for his efforts with the All Blacks sevens team.
All Blacks icon Waka Nathan was awarded the Steinlager Salver New Zealand Rugby's highest recognition of an outstanding contribution to rugby.
2018 Rugby Award winners: Fan's Try of the year: Chris Hala'ufia (St Peter's College)
NZ Rugby Referee of the year: Glen Jackson (Bay of Plenty)
Charles Monro Rugby Volunteer of the year: Irene Eruera-Taiapa (Horowhenua Kapiti)
NZ Rugby Age Grade Player of the year: Tom Christie (Canterbury)
Mitre 10 Heartland Championship Player of the year: Brett Ranga (Thames Valley)
Duane Monkley Medal: Luke Romano (Canterbury)
Fiao'o Faamausili Medal: Kendra Cocksedge (Canterbury)
National Coach of the year: Alama Ieremia (Auckland)
NZ Coach of the year: Clark Laidlaw (NZ sevens)
Investec Super Rugby Player of the year: Richie Mo'unga (Crusaders)
Tom French Memorial Maori Player of the year: Codie Taylor (Ngati Raukawa/Muaupoko)
Richard Crawshaw Memorial Sevens player of the year: Scott Curry (Bay of Plenty)
Black Ferns Sevens Player of the year: Michaela Blyde (Bay of Plenty)
NZ Rugby Women's Player of the year: Kendra Cocksedge (Canterbury)
Kelvin R Tremain Memorial Player of the year: Kendra Cocksedge (Canterbury)
National Team of the year: Crusaders
NZ Team of the year: Black Ferns Sevens