2012 January 13
Sam Warburton named Rugby Personality of the YearSam Warburton named Rugby Personality of the Year
Wales and Cardiff Blues flanker Sam Warburton has been named Rugby Personality of the Year at the annual Rugby Union Writers' Club dinner, BBC Sport reports.
Warburton, who shone as Wales captain and number 7 in the Rugby World Cup, was commended on his on-field activity, as well as the grace with which he handled the media scrum following his semi-final sending off.
The 23-year old saw off stiff competition for the prize, with World Cup winning coach Graham Henry also nominated for the award, alongside French captain Thierry Dusatoir and Shane Williams who bowed out of the international game in November last year.
Warburton is the fourth Welshman to receive the accolade in eight years, following in the footsteps of Rob Howley, Gareth Thomas and Shane Williams who also swapped their rugby t shirts for more formal wear for the ceremony.
Warburton wasn't the only Welsh international honoured at the ceremony, however, with Richard Parks also commended for his "737 Challenge" which saw the 34-year old climb the highest peaks on every continent and reach both poles in seven months.
Speaking to wru.co.uk following his award, Warburton enthused: "It is a fantastic honour and very surreal.
"There are players on the list of previous winners who I used to watch on DVD when I was growing up and really admired. To be named alongside them is just incredible and it is something that I don't think will completely sink in for some time.