Ireland's Johnny Sexton wins rugby's world player of year

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Well we haven't peaked, so we're just getting better and hopefully we can continue to do that. "I think the Grand Slam was enormous". 'I'm probably going to be the most pleased of anyone, when it finally is made.' Powerful lock Beirne traded Scarlets for Munster in the summer and has made rapid strides since then in Ireland's ranks.

Ireland's new head coach elect Andy Farrell has spoken of the "privilege" of being named Joe Schmidt's successor. I committed to a certain timeframe with them and I've stuck to that. Schmidt will be in place with Ireland until after next year's World Cup in Japan in any case, but admitted he has struggled with a decision on his next career call.

"They have been No. 1 in the world for nine years now and they are obviously a fantastic outfit".

"Blessed with pace and power, the 24-year-old was the joint top try-scorer in the Rugby Championship with five as South Africa finished as runners-up".

"I think for Ireland to be in that lucky position is phenomenal".

Schmidt also promised to make a decision on his future as Ireland coach within days of Saturday's final November test against the United States.

Sexton became only the second Irishman after hooker Keith Wood to win the award.

Schmidt played the role of mentor when he went to France and convince Sexton to end a largely unhappy two years at Racing 92.

Johnny Sexton boots Ireland to a win. Pic AAP
Johnny Sexton boots Ireland to a win. Pic AAP

During the ceremony, Sexton was left speechless thanks to a throat infection so Ireland captain Rory Best had to deliver a speech on his behalf.

Reading from notes provided by Sexton, Best said: "I'm not sure if you can understand me any better but Johnny has put a few things down here that I will read out.

I want to say congrats to Sarah Goss who I've looked up to for many years, she is a player I strive to be like so this is for you sis", Blyde said after receiving the trophy. "If a Number 10 wins an award like this it is due to the team around him and his coaches making his job easier", he read.

IRFU chief executive Philip Browne said: "Andy has world class coaching credentials and we are pleased to have a roadmap for an orderly transition post-Rugby World Cup to the 2020 Six Nations".

"Thank you so much, it is an incredible honour". "Anyone of them would have been a worthy victor".

Australia's Angus Gardner picked up the Referee Award, with Doddie Weir scooping the Award for Character.

Meanwhile, Perry Baker is the World Rugby 7s Player of the Year.

The awards capped a triumphant month for the squad, which included Ireland's first ever home win against the All Blacks.

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